#BCM310 Research Proposal; How does the social media portray #metoo movement?

ABSTRACT

In the more recent years we have seen a more positive impact that freedom to communicate and express oneself has brought to societies globally, allowing people to make a stand against oppressive practices in general or more specific restrictions that are affecting only certain groups of the global population i.e. women, disabled, members of LGBT community and such.

The content of my research will be focusing on social media’s vital role and its portrayal of a more recent, #metoo movement that, since it started on Twitter in 2017, helped millions of women voice out their experiences with sexual misconduct; thus raising public awareness of the problem that has been plaguing our society far too long. As noble of an attempt as it seems to be portrayed as #metoo movement isn’t without a flaw and this particular aspect of it has peaked my interest and enticed me to explore it further; as I will explain further down my research process.

According to Mumford’s (2018) article focusing on Michael Haneke’s thoughts on the subject, this lack of ability to distinguish between true and false on social media could have many more detrimental repercussions. I expressed general disinterest in exploring other media fields seeing as this research would simply require an ample amount of time should I choose to explore the ways TV and film industry, as well as news and magazines, portray #metoo movement from their own perspective.



BACKGROUND

When it went viral in October 2017, the #metoo movement was originally aiming to uproot the issue of increased rates of sexual harassment and through social media, give voices to those who have been quietly suffering and ensure that those responsible are apprehended and appropriately punished. The fact #metoo originated on social media almost guarantees the ability to increase its effects and reach followers exponentially. Social media, being an excellent and efficient outlet for just about anyone with an internet connection, has shown over the years that it also lacks on the matter of quality rather than quantity and not every piece of content is absolutely genuine.

According to North’s (2018) article from earlier in 2018, despite being the protagonists of this movement, women globally have shown growing concerns about the movement as it is beginning to manifest rather negative side effects. Author also claims that, while it certainly helped point out the harassment problems that have gone ‘noticed but untreated’, #metoo movement has caused fear among men and their growing reluctance to share professional environments with women out of constant fear of prosecution.

For instance, one of the more negative perspectives on this movement has been elaborated by Kelly (2018), who states that the early beginnings of #metoo have exposed many harassment related problems in Hollywood and everyday lives of women all over the world, but this noble intention has created, what she refers to as a disgusting cultural movement that feeds hatred towards men and above all, ignores the need for objective standards on what rape and sexual assault are. Of course, this in no way invalidates the fact sexual assaults do happen whether we refer to those happening among Hollywood stars or everyday women, but it is vital to maintain standards of objectivity.

Historian and a woman herself, Mary Beard has stated that society is now too obsessed with ‘isolated’ examples of bad behaviour by men, and there is a tendency to take incidents out of context and often overreact in terms of measures that can be taken to prevent these incidents from happening. Seeing as #metoo movement is still going strong a year later and gains new followers on social media, it is important to recognize how this affects our society as a whole and whether it could have a massively adverse effect on the way we view sexual assault, as well as the way the two genders co-exist in both professional and everyday life.


RATIONALE

Being a woman myself, I found myself in a predicament related to this topic and expressed initial hesitation about even picking it for this project but I was also curious whether this movement could one day be responsible for the increased levels of animosity and volatility between men and women in our society.

Having no way of telling whether all of those online accusations are true or not, I want to examine how social media creates and maintains the ‘bandwagon’ effect and what could be the further implications of it. Recent rise in false accusations has made me consider the other side of the coin, despite being a woman and despite having first-hand experience growing up in, although regionally restricted, predominantly matriarchal society where females were encouraged to be tough and objective in their pursuit of justice.

 


METHODOLOGY

Regardless of this movement being a rather new social phenomenon, I plan on using bibliography as my secondary data – that does not necessarily only focus on issues of sexual harassment, but also consequences that follow false accusations and its adverse effects on lives of those who have been unfairly affected by it. Regarding the interview, I wish to include four male and female classmates as I believe that, should they share their honest opinions, my research will contain richer perspective, and it will greatly contribute to my ability to reach an objective and fair conclusion.

 


EXPECTATIONS

Considering the overall severity and sensitive nature of this topic, I am aware my research may raise questions on why a woman chose to pursue such delicate matter and am I, by doing so, doing a disservice to female population globally. And before I continue my research I feel the responsibility to confirm that it is not my intention to invalidate or disregard the problem of rape and sexual assault in our society.

I will proceed with collecting primary data through interviews with my classmates after which I will begin analyzing their answers and assembling more refined data. I will focus on secondary data analysis once I have gathered necessary information through interviews and will ensure all of it is carefully composed into a final form of my digital artifact.

 


PLATFORM AND STAKEHOLDERS

Because of this topic’s delicate nature, I chose my blog as a platform through which I will express my findings and conclusion, and eventually finalize my digital artifact in a form of a blog. Aware that my writing skills are far superior to my video editing skills or even design, I am confident my blog will be an insightful read for all who are interested in this topic and wish to think further on how this may reflect on our real-world experience.

My future career aim is yet another reason I chose my blog as a form of expression – having a strong sense of justice and wanting to do the right thing above all, I would expect to join the ranks of journalists one day and continue my dedicated search for truth. In my honest opinion, passionate and dedicated blogs with a healthy sense for justice are most likely to stand up for problems in society, and I would be more than happy to join an organization or a foundation that fights to solve those problems.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

1.Kelly, J. (2018). Three problems with the #Metoo movement. Medium. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/@jasonkelly_96466/three-problems-with-the-metoo-movement-64f948f0dc16

2. Lambert, L. (2018). Mary Beard says #MeToo movement is too obsessed with isolated incidents and will not solve sexual harassment of women. Daily Mail UK. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5410857/Mary-Beard-MeToo-hashtag-does-not-solve-problem.html

3. Mumford, G. (2018). Michael Haneke: #MeToo has led to a witch hunt ‘coloured by a hatred of men’. The Guardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/feb/12/michael-haneke-metoo-witch-hunt-coloured-hatred-men

4.
North, A. (2018). Why women are worried about #MeToo. Vox. Retrieved from: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/5/17157240/me-too-movement-sexual-harassment-aziz-ansari-accusation

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