The rise of the #MeToo movement has brought sexual abuse and harassment incidents into the light of the day. It has now penetrated the cloak of marriage. High profile husbands were even exposed.
More Attention for Wives
Exposure to celebrity husbands’ sexual abuse is a milestone. Especially since they were previously untouchables. Advocates of the #MeToo movement will be quick to point out that it is only the first step. The primary goal is to help protect women. Thus, it would be better if more attention was given to the wives who experienced sexual abuse.
The media has still continued to cater to a patriarchal society. It gives attention to domestic violence but primarily turns a deaf ear to spousal sexual abuse. The #MeToo movement has already brought attention to it. There are also laws that specifically target marital rape.
These laws have notable loopholes, but they are still a step in the right direction considering the pressing concerns of human trafficking and violence towards women. Still, the desired change to eliminate the culture of victim-blaming is far from a reality.
America Lags Behind
The #MeToo movement is a global cause. The emphasis is focused on American women since the United States has a long way to go in gender equality. For a country that was deemed progressive, it ranked 51st out of 149 countries.
The sad truth is that despite the technological advances, like the rape kit, to turn the needle on sexual abuse, there are still numerous rape victims that have not been served justice.
#MeToo Makes a Difference
The #MeToo movement has brought American women to confront and evaluate their relationships. Many of them have realized that their marriages are unhealthy and that they have a choice to speak out and walk away.
This is the primary goal that #MeToo wants to espouse—to encourage women to take courage and speak out, and even walk away from bad marriages. It begins by redefining what a marriage should entail and what boundaries cannot be crossed.
One main issue that has been addressed is the economic empowerment of women who choose to file for a divorce. With provisions in divorce laws that allow women to get financial support even when they have expressed their intent to divorce, the hope is that it will encourage more women to walk away from an abusive marriage.