The Promise of the #MeToo Movement for Preventing and Reporting Sexual Harassment
10 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 21, 2020
The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the promise of #MeToo movement for reporting and preventing sexual harassment (SH). The article engages with definitions of SH and theories of whistleblowing dialogue with illustrative #MeToo narratives to discuss why reports of SH take long time to surface and why they may remain unreported and unaddressed. The empirical illustrations were gathered from Swedish newspaper articles, social media, radio, and television programs beginning autumn 2017. To set the stage, we begin with short presentations of sexual harassment and whistleblowing processes followed by three short illustrative cases. Our tentative findings show that when considering SH, organisation leaders have important roles in the whistleblowing process as they communicate organisational expectations, values and norms about acceptable behaviour. In the Swedish context, the explicit political stance to #MeToo taken by Swedish Government and Discrimination Ombudsman were crucial in starting and sustaining initiatives to support employees and their organisations in these efforts.
Keywords: #MeToo, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, Sweden
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