A remarkable piece recently published in Time Magazine discusses how the “structures that enable sexism are exploding,” with every day seeming to bring new bombshells. Today’s bombshells were Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor (yes, it’s apparently true). All of this has been made possible by a culture that is finally starting to open up about the nearly ubiquitous harassment of women happening in our homes, schools and businesses.
The Time Magazine article, by Jay Newton Small, explains that when women reach 20 to 30% of the critical mass in an industry, change starts to happen. Women begin to take the risk of revealing their #MeToo stories. Men begin to talk about how they felt pressured to fulfill gender norms with aggressive sexual behavior. People of all genders begin to open up about how their lives were impacted by sexual trauma.
We are moving toward that point in our culture. This is a good thing, because we can evolve toward healthier relationships and less rigid gender norms. We can begin to make real systems change for gender equality, sector by sector, as different parts of society become more gender equal. But this won’t happen without the intentional effort of progressive movements to provide better news and information.