How important is the MeToo movement

documentation

What about sexism and equality in Germany?

Women run across a zebra crossing in front of a grafitti (& copy Getty Images / AFP, Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)

In October 2017, numerous actresses accused the American film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and abuse. A few days later, the actress Alyssa Milano also tweeted other women to report publicly about their experiences with sexual assault under #MeToo. Since then, the hashtag has gone around the world. Millions of women (and men too) spoke up and shared their experiences.

#MeToo goes back to the activist Tarana Burke, who launched the hashtag back in 2006. It has been an integral part of the social debate for over a year now - and it has had an impact all over the world. At the end of October 2017, the EU Parliament passed a resolution to investigate harassment and sexual assault. In Switzerland #MeToo is chosen as word of the year. In the USA, Hollywood greats like Oprah Winfrey found the # TimesUp initiative, which also provides financial and legal support to women outside the film industry in defending themselves against sexual assault.

Critics accuse the #MeToo movement of generalizing and thus playing down crimes. Some prominent women from France charged the campaign with hatred of men and a new form of puritanism. And there is a fear that false accusations will wrongly incriminate suspected perpetrators.

What is it like in Germany?

The following questions were discussed in a panel discussion:
  • What about equality and sexism in this country?
  • What role does sexism play in everyday life, in the world of work and in private life?
  • How present is the connection between sexual violence and power in Germany?
  • What has changed since #MeToo and what should change in society so that a campaign like this, which is not viewed uncritically, is no longer necessary?

Participants:

Robert Franconia, Digital & Diversity Consultant, ambassador of the "HeForShe" campaign by UN-Women and co-founder of the platform "Male Feminists Europe"

Julia Korbik, freelance journalist, author and speaker on feminist topics

Sabine Kray, Author, translator and mentor for young girls at the Neukölln Community Foundation

Hannah Lühmann, Cultural journalist with a focus on "gender issues" and editor in the feature sections of "Welt" and "Welt am Sonntag"

Moderator:

Franziska Hilfenhaus, freelance writer at Frau.tv (Westdeutscher Rundfunk)

You can find the program as a pdf download (98 KB) here.

Teaser video for the panel discussion

The teaser gives a first impression of the debates and points of view from the panel discussion "Consequences of the #MeToo movement. What about sexism and equality in Germany?" from January 24th, 2019 in Cologne.

Video recording of the entire panel discussion

#MeToo has been an integral part of the social debate for over a year. The movement is having an impact around the world and sometimes arouses criticism. What is the current state of equality and sexism in Germany? Has #MeToo had a lasting impact on society?