Me Too Movement GR: The beginning of something great

The year 2021 began promisingly. Maybe because some people want to forget the previous. Others see the current year as a historic beginning for something bigger than humans. Some would call it the “breaking of silence.” I would call it the “truth”.

It is a fact that in recent weeks, the me too movement has come to stay in Greece. As we know, the beginning was made with the golden Olympic sailor Sofia Bekatorou on 14/01/2021, who bravely revealed her own truth. So on this occasion, a tsunami of new truths began which were transformed into complaints. First in the field of sports, then in the University space and so far in the field of theater and television.

Let’s  briefly refer to the history of the movement, in order to better understand its significance. The me too movement is a movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment, especially against women, where people make public allegations of sexual crimes. The term was first used by activist Tarana Burke in 2006, a victim of sexual harassment. The movement took on enormous proportions and grew in 2017 with the alleged sexual abuse and harassment by Harvey Weinstein (a well-known Hollywood producer) to hundreds of women. Due to the enormous size of the movement, Burke herself has extended the term to: marginalized people from marginalized communities worldwide.

Regarding the Greek society (although it is too early to talk about the bigger picture) and regarding the cases that are already known, it seems that the people support the oppressed and there is an outcry for the oppressors. The most common phenomenon (as observed in other countries) is that in these cases there is a clear power relationship between two (or more) people. Thus the person with power “abuses” to the detriment of the other with greater ease.

In terms of impact and effect, they are full of negative results. Both for the oppressed and for the oppressors. What can we expect from all this?

If we study the foreign cases and the consequences that all the complaints had, then we can hope for a corresponding justification of the people who have suffered violence of any kind. And this, not only for  the three fields mentioned above, but also in a multitude of others. Prosecution, where possible, should be followed by compliance, prudence and remorse by the perpetrators.

First, let’s talk about the American model. In the USA there was a special uproar of reactions, for Hollywood but also for the political scene. Punishing men like Matt Lauer (TV presenter), Kevin Spacey (actor) and Eric Schneiderman (politician) are just a few cases of men facing penalties.

In countries such as Italy and France, there have been few developments regarding the Me Too movement. While it went viral, however, it did not gain the right momentum to spread and “take roots”  in society, with laws and controls in the workplace. For both countries, deep-rooted perceptions and patriarchy are the main deterrents (as citizens claim).

For developing countries or rich countries where women and marginalized groups do not have basic rights, unfortunately, we can not refer to rights in the family context, let alone in the workplace! The data we know, apart from being incomplete, are not particularly important.

For the rest, it is amazing what we can learn from the cases of powerful men and women who oppress their subordinates. Lessons like: no one is above any suspicion, no matter how famous, rich, powerful (and many other adjectives) they are. And that we (the obscures) give status, fame and also money to such people, turning them into blameless, intact and untouched. We must therefore demand and create as a society a strong legal framework, in which everyone will be accountable and from which no one will be able to escape.

The truth is the most basic element in our experiences, in our character and in the life of each of us. In the equation of life, there is no room for hatred, lies, malice, empathy and ultimately violence. After all, the truth is what always stays in the end. In the consciousness, in the heart and in the mind. I believe that justification owes and should be an earthly good. In fact, as long as we live in a democratic country, oppression and covert tyranny have no place. Goodbye old system and let’s welcome a truthful system!