“我也是”：作为集体行动的公共舆论运动 ["Me Too": Public Opinion Movement as Collective Action]
思想 [Reflexion], Vol. 38 (2019), pp. 253-324
72 Pages Posted:
Date Written: March 13, 2019
This article is the first in a two-paper series, which offers a comprehensive and systematic review of, and response to, various anti-MeToo arguments made by MeToo skeptics. Taking the U.S. and China as examples, the first section overviews the local contexts of anti-sexual-assault/harassment movements, and the respective issues and challenges they each confront. It then summarizes the three primary objectives of the MeToo movement (accountability, empowerment and reform) and the three ideal-typical critiques advanced by MeToo skeptics (the Mobs Critique, the Damsels-in-Distress Critique, and the Puritans Critique). The second through fourth sections will address various versions of the Mobs Critique and the fifth section the Damsels-in-Distress Critique, whereas the Puritans Critique will be left for the forthcoming second article in the series.
More specifically, the second and third sections of this article discuss how MeToo skeptics misappropriate the notions of “presumption of innocence” and “trial by public opinion” respectively. As it turns out, the caricature of the MeToo movement (as well as other movements aiming at swaying the public opinion) as the tyranny of mobs jeopardizing the rule of law reflects nothing but the skeptics’ own misconceptions of what the rule of law is and what we should learn from our historical experiences. The fourth and fifth sections respond, respectively, to the “argument from false accusations” and the “argument from self-victimization.” By reviewing conclusions of existing empirical researches and analyzing the conceptual and normative confusions underlying those arguments, I show how sex and gender biases distort implicitly yet systematically our cognitions of sexual assault and harassment. Because of the systematicity of such distortions, isolated resistances cannot effectively address the problems of sexual assault and harassment; by contrast, public opinion movements, such as MeToo, are exactly the kind of collective action crucial to the transformation of sociocultural ideas, and to the development of new institutions of effective remedy.
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