The influence of the MeToo movement

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


Yesterday, one of these men asked jinni if he could share her table. The other tables were taken, so she said ‘of course’. He tried to chat her up but she simply responded monosyllabically, and returned to her book. He stared at her openly for about twenty minutes. Finally, she decided to leave (mostly because he also had a hacking cough). When she put her book in her bag, he again tried to kick up conversation with her, this time more frantically ‘I’m asking you a question’; she, again, responded politely though tersely and left.

This sounds so small but I realised that, without #metoo, I would have felt too guilty to have left, or not to have engaged in some small conversation with him (that is: poor guy; he’s only trying to be nice.), even after having been gawped at for a full twenty minutes. The actual visceral knowing that if someone makes me uncomfortable, I do not have to engage was huge. And I know that, without the sexism highlighted from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, without the #metoo movement, I would never have been able to extricate myself from that situation. I would have responded like the ‘nice’ girl I was trained to be. And it seems so small but it was quite a new feeling for me. I do not have to perform for others.

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