Date ArticleType
3/5/2019 Member News

#MeToo Backlash Is Topic of SPC Forum

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Executive Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, PR/Communications Coordinator, 727-341-4712.

#MeToo Backlash Is Topic of SPC Forum

The #MeToo movement and a growing backlash against it will be explored in depth at the next Dinner Series program of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

Titled #MeToo and Men: The Due Process Backlash, the program will be from 6-8:15 p.m., March 26, at the Conference Center of the SPC Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration is required. Media co-sponsors are the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television.

The #MeToo Movement, launched in fall 2017, exposed the dirty little secret of sexual exploitation of women by men in positions of power over them, especially in the workplace. The phrase MeToo had been in circulation since about 2006, but it went viral after one woman’s allegation that Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her. The charge unleashed a cascade of similar complaints from former Weinstein protégées. He was quickly drummed out of the company that he co-founded, and he became the shameful symbol of male sexual predation as powerful heads rolled across America in the next few months.

But a year later, during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a counter-movement called #HimToo went viral after two women accused him of assaulting them in high school, 30 years earlier. Though there is some anti-feminist sentiment in the backlash against #MeToo, its primary focus is a demand for due process – the basic assumption of innocence until proven guilty and all of the independent investigation that entails, with penalties based on degree of offense. 

The forum will explore this sensitive issue from both sides: that of women who have finally found a voice in their centuries-old battle against sexual attack and for equality in the workplace, and that of men, whose careers and reputations stand to be destroyed by one accusation of sexual misconduct, regardless of factuality or degree of offense.

Debating those points will be:

  • Dr. Jill Mc Cracken, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
  • Denis de Vlaming, criminal defense attorney, Clearwater
  • Dr. David Liebert, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, St. Petersburg College

Cost of the event, which includes a three-course dinner, is $25 per guest or $20 for students and educators. Registration is available at