#MeToo is a social media campaign where thousands of women are sharing their personal stories using the #MeToo hashtag. #MeToo has had a global impact on societies recognising the devastating effects of sexual assault and harassment on women. The MeToo Movement continues to support celebrities, artists and movie stars to speak out about their experiences, in the entertainment industry in particular, that have devalued women down to a sum of their parts. We have heard high profile men deny, excuse and shift blame but it has never been o.k. to assault a woman or to exert male power over a woman. 

Has this mostly American led revolution changed Australian society and made it safer for non celebrities to speak out against such an important issue? We don’t believe it has. 

We saw in our Parliament over the past few weeks two important issues that have been lost in the merry dance of a Politician in hot water. The first is an explanation of how a senior Politician began an affair with a junior female staff member. While we recognise the woman was not underage and we do not know any of the facts, there is a huge power differential between the boss and his staff member. In any other workplace this may have been sexual harassment or bullying. 

The second event that is still unfolding is Michaelia Cash’s outburst in a Senate Committee. Senator Cash was threatening to name female Labour staff members who she believes to be the subject of rumours, as political leverage against Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. How is it that these women could have been so devalued as to be political point scoring fodder? 

There is still clearly a lot of work to be done for true gender equality! 

Cristy Houghton