The Roots of the #MeToo Movement
The news in our scandal-sick USA is that a woman can complain of sexual oppression with some assurance that she will be heard. Toxic masculinity is now a firing offense, for a change. The women saying “no” to predatory men are now being collectively honored by TIME magazine as the person of the year: “The Silence Breakers.” The #MeToo movement—more than a decade in the making—could now become the most consequential campaign in the waning days of 2017.
But as the headlines continue to name and shame all kinds of powerful men in all kinds of places—from Hollywood Boulevard to the White House halls—major questions remain: why did it take so long for these women to be heard? And why do so many men only seem to listen when the predators are celebrities; and when the accusers are well-connected, wealthy, and white? Will this movement turn into a “moral panic,” or can we begin building real structures of accountability here?
Our guests this week explore the deep roots of this problem—across the color line and across generations. The mother-daughter preacher pair—Gloria and Mariama White-Hammond—lead us through the conversation.
Gloria—who co-founded Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain with her husband, Ray— is also a silence-breaker. She’s spoken out against abuse in her own family history. She, too, has been listening to stories of “#MeToo” in her church and in her community.
Gloria’s daughter, Mariama, is a student of international relations, theology, hip-hop and environmental justice as well as an associate minister at Bethel AME. Continuing the tradition of a Christian fight for social justice, she leads us through what’s changed among Boston’s rising generation.
Danielle McGuire is a Detroit-based historian who locates the #MeToo backstory in the Deep South and in the origins of the civil rights movement. Her breakthrough book, At the Dark End of the Street, tells the story of Rosa Parks and other black women who fought and organized against sexual assault by white men more than decade before the Montgomery bus boycott.
Kate Manne—philosopher and author of the new book, Down Girl: the Logic of Misogyny—helps break down the toxic system of thinking that secures a man’s world. The problem, she says, begins with the stories we tell our children.
co-pastor at Bethel AME Church, and the Swartz Resident Practitioner in Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School
associate minister for ecological justice at Bethel AME Church
associate professor of history at Wayne State University and author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance–a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power
assistant professor of philosophy at Cornell University and author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
Sandra E. Garcia
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian