The #MeToo movement has gone from an endeavor with noble roots to one of the most complicated issues of the social media age.
When it began, the movement was primarily focused on revealing sexual assault and abuse by people in power, such as disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Such individuals cannot be condemned enough, and Weinstein deserved every last bit of scorn he got.
Obviously, people calling out and shaming sexual assailants like Weinstein and former Team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is a good thing.
It should go without saying that sexual abuse and assault are never OK and the victims should always be given their fair chance to speak out.
But somewhere along the way, the #MeToo movement became twisted in a way that has made it a dangerous tool. Due process has been all but thrown out the window in favor of weaponizing hysteria to render a verdict before any semblance of evidence is presented.
This, to anyone who believes in justice and fairness, should be an utterly terrifying development.
Take, for example, the case of John Doe and Jane Roe, as they are listed in the appropriate lawsuit, of the University of Cincinnati.
Doe, as WCPO-TV reports, is a male graduate student who sued the school saying “the university violated due process and Title IX in the way officials treated him after a female student accused him of sexually assaulting her.”
Doe said he was never given a fair chance to defend himself when the allegations were levied against him.
The sexual encounter in question happened in September 2015. Doe and Roe had met on Tinder and ended up having sex in Doe’s apartment. Doe said the sex was consensual.
A month after the encounter, Roe reported it as an assault to school officials. Doe was not informed of the allegations until February 2016.
After a hearing in which Doe was not allowed to cross-examine Roe, her witnesses or the officials who originally compiled the report, Doe was found “responsible.” After Doe’s appeal, which was denied, he was suspended in December 2016. It was then that he pursued legal action.
As The Daily Wire reports, had Doe been given the opportunity to cross-examine Roe, he was confident that he could unearth motives and inconsistencies in Roe’s accusations.
According to legal documents obtained by The Daily Wire, Doe never called Roe back after the sexual encounter. Doe also said Roe received plenty of accommodations from the school, in the form of “changes to homework deadlines, grades, class schedules, test schedules, and even receiving job opportunities,” after the allegations were levied. It certainly would’ve been fair to question Roe about those possible motives, no?
Those same documents note an air of inconsistency in Roe’s allegations. In her first interview, Roe seemed to blame wine for lowering her inhibitions before the sexual encounter. In subsequent interviews, she claimed that Doe had been forceful with her and made her feel guilty.
Fortunately for Doe, he ultimately won this battle. The settlement with his school included $47,152 in attorneys’ fees, an end of his suspension, the dropping of all disciplinary sanctions and having the “responsible” tag expunged from his record.
But even this victory comes at a steep price. The settlement agreement was signed last month. The original allegations happened in 2015 and the suspension was in 2016. That’s well over two years of suffering and pain that Doe dealt with based on nothing more than unsubstantiated allegations.
That’s a terrifying precedent no matter which you slice it.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.