Speed Reads

end of a movement?

Law professor says response to Biden allegation could signal 'end of MeToo' movement

Activists who have fought to change society's response to women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault have said former Senate aide Tara Reade's accusation against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden presents a challenge, The Washington Post reports.

Many activists, the Post reports, want to ensure President Trump, who is the subject of multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment himself, is defeated in November, but there is also concern that a lack of scrupulous investigation into Reade's claims against Biden — who has denied them — could be damaging to the movement overall. "I think that this could potentially be the end of MeToo," said Michele Dauber, a Stanford University law professor who heads the Enough is Enough Voter Project. "The failure to investigate, and the failure to live by our principles, will become silencing."

Dauber, unsurprisingly, has called for an investigation. But others have suggested the call to believe women was not meant to be implemented without question. Instead, the movement sought to change the culture surrounding such allegations and treat them seriously. "Believing survivors is about a paradigm shift away from assuming that survivors are lying right out of the gate, which has been our cultural and societal norm," said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a group that advocates for gender equality. Read more at The Washington Post.