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Opinion: Has #MeToo Gone Too Far?
Lauren Beesting, Features Writer
The #MeToo campaign has seen women joining together and revealing their sexual assault stories, accusing people of sexually harassing them in many situations.

Although a “hashtag” campaign may appear minuscule, this one is making a big difference in the world, with predators losing their jobs following accusations.

But is it fair to proclaim a man guilty without a fair trial or any proof?
Margaret Atwood, feminist author, famously known for writing ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, publicly argued this point, and, as a result, is now being accused of being a ‘bad feminist.’

In her article Atwood voices the opinion that women are “not angels incapable of wrongdoing. If they were, we wouldn’t need a legal system.”

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She compares this current situation to the Salem witch trials where the accused were declared guilty without a trial. As she explained in a previous article published in the Guardian in 2012 and titled “Haunted by the Handmaid’s Tale”, that novel was based on real events such as the Salem witch trials.

She also mentions the chance of the real world’s future correlating with the novel’s plot, stating that “there are two futures in the book, and that if the first one comes true, the second one may do so also.”

This dystopian novel has recently been publicised in the media following the Trump election, as people began to realise that their futures were looking scarily like those in Gilead.

Often, with controversial subjects, many people don’t consider every detail.

What I find ironic about this current predicament is that, as a society, we have created a ‘panic’ that our world is about to crumble much like in the novel, yet when Atwood tries to approach the problem in the #MeToo campaign she is criticised.

In the Handmaid’s Tale there is an event called ‘Particicution’, which all ‘handmaids’ must attend. During this event the authorities announce to the ‘handmaids’ that a man has raped a fellow handmaid and encourages them to get their ‘justice’ by whatever means they deem right. What is key in this situation is that the man is accused without any trial or any form of proof.

Much like Atwood’s comparison to the Salem witch trials, the hysteria of the women who believe without any evidence causes major problems for the people who are accused yet are not guilty.

This mirrors the #MeToo campaign as, although many women are exposing these sexual predators because they’re truly guilty and deserve punishment, there are women who may accuse men who might not have really done anything that can be called rape, but may have just misread a situation.

Some men are losing their jobs without having any proof of their accusations. I believe that if someone is accused, it doesn’t mean that they are guilty; no one should be prosecuted or punished without a fair trial.

If you are a feminist and believe in equal rights then shouldn’t the male ‘predators’ be given a fair trial? Just because we are women doesn’t mean we are incapable of lying, or shaping the truth.

If we carry on without a proper legal system, justice will be out of the window and we might see the society in Atwood’s novel reflected in our own world.

Opinion: Has #MeToo Gone Too Far?, 4th March 2018, 11:46 AM