The #MeToo Movement Must Be LGBT-Inclusive to Succeed

In the wake of the watershed #MeToo campaign,many are continuing the discussion about how to endsexual abuse and sexism in our society. This conversation has been vital in sparking awareness and unmasking sexual predators. And while it would be easy to focus on the abusers,it’s even more important to shinea spotlight on bravewomen likeTarana Burke, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan.

But thismovement must be held accountable, too. Black women, for instance, have accused the #MeToo movement of focusing almost exclusively on white women. In response to this criticism, the#HerToomovement has emerged to amplify the voices of marginalized women throughout the world.

And with that in mind, it’s also crucial to examine how toxic masculinity silences the LGBT community.

Internationally, the phenomenon of “corrective rape”, where — usually — men rape people who self-identify as queer, continues to this day. Yet, because of the stigma surrounding homosexuality — as well as the emphasis placed on purity and virginity — many victims don’t speak out.

Meanwhile,bisexual womenare at increased risk of intimate partner violence in much of the developed world, with far higher rates of sexual assault, rape and physical assault.

Male-dominated mediatends tofetishize bisexual women,which can reinforcean association betweenbisexualityandsexual promiscuity. This often manifests in storylines that tacitly contribute to victim blaming when sexual and physical assault does occur. On top of this, the very act of bi-erasuredoesincredible violence to bisexual people.

Trans people are also at a massively higher risk of violence and sexual assault, with 47 percenthaving experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives.At a time when the Trump administration appears to be pressuringfederal agencies to not even say the word “transgender,” it’s critical that #MeToo helps to ensure their voices are not silenced.

As severalsalient criticisms have pointed out,#MeToo has reinforced the gender binary in a way that risks ignoringtrans and non-binary voices. It also eclipses male victims of this same violence.

By addressing some of these problems and charting an inclusive way forward, we can more fully honor the spirit of the #MeToo movement.

One strategy is todegender our language when we talk about the victims of sexual violence. Another powerful way to help is by usingour own voices to elevate others. Retweeting and resharing stories from women of color and LGBT people who are employingthe #MeToo hashtag can help to ensure that these communities face are also being heard. And the same goes for calling out and challenging homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.

Together we are stronger, and by using our diversityand unifying our message, we can fuel greater change.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

52 comments

Marie W
Marie W5 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Dave fleming
Past Member 10 months ago

Thank you

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Jim V
Jim Ven10 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven10 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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DAVID fleming
Past Member 11 months ago

Thanks

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David Casker
David Casker11 months ago

Thank you so much. I posted to MeToo fairly early on, and other men followed me. I was 11 when a man from church decided he liked me. Fortunately, he never harmed me physically, but consider what it was like to be the most sexually-active 5th grader....

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W11 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R11 months ago

All people are all people. MeToo needs to define harassment and become more honest.

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