#MeToo panel discusses movement’s impacts

Rollins hosted a #MeToo Movement Panel to discuss the movement that has grabbed the nation’s attention. It touched on topics such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape culture, and activism.

The event was mainly organized by Morgan Gerber ‘18 and attracted a significant number of people.

Panelists included Dean of Religious & Spiritual Life Rev. Katrina Jenkins, Title IX Coordinator Oriana Jiménez, Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Amy McClure, and Assistant Professor of Critical Media & Cultural studies Dr. Steven Schoen.

Panelists contributed their own experiences and expertise to this discussion.

Jiménez spoke of the resources that Rollins offers to suriviors and reassured students of the dedication of the Title IX office in assisting victims of assault.

This included further educating the audience on sexual assault and harassment. Rev. Jenkins also talked about how to deal with assault, specifically as a person of faith.

Dr. McClure and Dr. Schoen discussed the aspects of our patriarchal society that allow rape culture to survive. They gave advice on how to change the way our current society treats women and survivors of sexual assault.

As well as conversing about the issue in general, a few panelists shared their own experiences ranging from workplace sexual harassment to rape. They gave accounts on how they were able to heal and come to terms with their traumatic ordeals.

The assertion that there is no wrong way to come forward as a survivor was emphasized in the discussion.

These testimonies allowed students to further relate to the discussion, and they provided hope for students who are still recovering from traumatic assaults of their own.

Questions following the panel discussion ranged from advice on healing to how to deal with uncomfortable aspects of the movement.

Furthermore, misconceptions, such as the exaggeration of times women have falsely accused men of sexual assault, were cleared up.

Other responses conveyed the difference in everyone’s healing process.

Dr. Jill Jones, professor of English and director of the Lucy Cross Center for Women and their Allies, provided initial background information on the #MeToo movement.

Originally started by Tarana Burke in 2006, it was co-opted by Alyssa Milano when she urged fans in late 2017 to post their own stories on Twitter. Milano’s idea to spread the hashtag was sparked by the revelation that Harvey Weinstein, an influential Hollywood producer, was a serial sexual predator who operated with impunity for decades.

Globally, anyone who has been a survivor of any form of sexual harassment or assault could indicate this by using the hashtag #MeToo. The hashtag has since spread throughout social media and started a discussion about sexual assault and sexism in our culture.

The conversation on sexual violence will continue throughout April, which is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The office of Title IX will host the fourth-annual Rollins Rally Against Violence on April 10 from 12 to 2 p.m. on Mills Lawn.

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