This Week in Women: "Me Too" & More Male Aggression
Beginning with “Me Too,” this week has been filled with headlines around critical women’s issues that affect the American conscious—examining new reports of “aggression” in air travel, saving reproductive rights from the chopping block, and taking on normalized sexual harassment. It’s time for This Week in Women!
The Impact of “Me Too”
A decade ago Tarana Burke launched the “Me Too” campaign to connect sexual assault survivors, and it has been reinvigorated in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal by Alyssa Milano, who launched a viral sensation on Sunday night with #MeToo. Over half a million women have posted #MeToo to their social accounts, prompting a follow-up men’s response with #HowIWillChange.
The importance of this grassroots conversation cannot be overstated, as it takes on systemic oppression of women and how many girls and women experience routine sexual harassment. Actresses, such as Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kristen Stewart, all spoke out and lent their stories this week at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards 2017, and numerous feminist op-eds have been published exploring the many angles and experiences.
#MeToo is a new opportunity for us to dialogue about how sexual harassment is most often framed to be the woman’s fault or the woman’s problem, when the perspective needs to shift as to how men can hold themselves accountable and removing entitlement from male behavior.
New York Activist, Tamika Mallory, Kicked Off American Airlines Flight
Co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington and New York-based activist, Tamika Mallory, was traveling home to New York from Miami International Airport on an American Airlines when she experienced what she is describing as “white male aggression” and “intimidation” from the pilot.
According to Mallory, after requesting to switch her seats from a middle seat to an aisle seat, a pilot allegedly scolded her for her disagreement with the gate agent over the seating re-assignment, asking if she was going to be a “problem” on the flight. Mallory was then allowed to board the plane. Before the plane took off Mallory was asked to come to the front of the plane and was then ejected from the flight.
“I began to express my outrage,” Mallory said to the. “Then I asked why I was being removed. I asked why was this happening to me. I told him I felt completely disrespected. I began to weep.”
“Our team does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed said. “We take these allegations seriously, and we are in the process of reaching out to our colleagues in Miami, as well as Ms. Mallory, to obtain additional information on what transpired during the boarding process.”
Another related story also came out this week after law studentwas also ejected from an American Airlines flight while flying with her four-month-old.
Women’s Reproductive Freedom Takes Center Stage With #JusticeForJane
A 17-year-old immigrant in Texas, who is being publicly identified as “Jane Doe,” is fighting for her healthcare rights with the nationwide support of the ACLU. Doe has been prevented from receiving abortion care because the Trump administration has issued new directives that prevent unaccompanied immigrant minors from obtaining abortions.
“The Trump administration’s action is shocking—a young woman is essentially being held hostage and forced by federal officials to continue a pregnancy against her will,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “And this case isn’t the only one—nationally, the federal government is obstructing young immigrant women’s access to abortion. It’s blatantly unconstitutional, not to mention unconscionable.”
As of today, the government has still not released Doe to receive the abortion procedure. Though a federal judge ruled that Doe did have the right to abortion access on Friday, that ruling has since been blocked. The ACLU immediately filed an emergency petition to review the decision.
Featured image via BET.com
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.