The Women’s Movement And #MeToo

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Women’s movement as:

diverse social movement, largely based in the United States, seeking equal rights and opportunities for women in their economic activities, their personal lives, and politics. It is recognized as the “second wave” of the larger feminist movement. While the first-wave feminism of the 19th and early 20th centuries focused on women’s legal rights, such as the right to vote, the second-wave feminism of the “women’s movement” peaked in the 1960s and ’70s and touched on every area of women’s experience—including family, sexuality, and work.

The article notes that the changes in women’s roles during and after World War II were at least partially responsible for the women’s movement along with the growth of the service sector of the economy (where strength was not necessarily a factor in obtaining or doing a job).

The article continues:

Initially, women energized by Friedan’s book (The Feminine Mystique published in 1963). joined with government leaders and union representatives who had been lobbying the federal government for equal pay and for protection against employment discrimination. By June 1966, they had concluded that polite requests were insufficient. They would need their own national pressure group—a women’s equivalent of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. With this, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was born.

One of the aspects of the Women’s movement was the idea that chastity in women was no longer valued or expected. There were some negative aspects of this premise–increased rates of teen pregnancy, increased STD’s, and abortion as the solution to unwanted pregnancy. There was also a very subtle impact–the diminished respect for women.

The #MeToo movement exposed the ugly underbelly of the entertainment industry (I put television news in that category) and confirmed the existence of the ‘casting couch’ (which most people had known about for years). It allowed women who had been sexually assaulted to come forward, but it also opened another can of worms. Because chastity is no longer valued in many areas of our society, dating behavior has changed drastically since the 1960’s. A women who chooses to have sex after a first date can wake up the next morning with regrets and claim sexual assault. Because current morality cannot assume that she was an unwilling partner, her claim is diluted.

Women need to acknowledge that regardless of what society says, chastity is a valuable virtue. Even though it sometimes seems as if there is no upside to chastity, it demands respect. The loss of chastity in our culture has changed to way men treat women and the way that men view women. If women want to be treated with respect, they need to respect themselves. I wonder if the #MeToo movement would have happened if society still placed a value on chastity.