This weekend you would have seen social media filled with the hashtag #MeToo, which as a male, a brother and a close friend to many females, I found very disturbing.
The #MeToo hashtag was trending and one had to wonder, what is this all about? Sexual harassment. That’s right, all my friends, family, colleagues and just about every other female in my life had posted in solidarity with other females that they were a victim of sexual harassment, or even assault by hashtagging #MeToo.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, literally, thousands have come forward from all wakes of life with allegations against their abusers in the #MeToo hashtag on social media.
Now if this disturbing reality wasn’t enough, I see another post inspired by the #MeToo campaign, where freelance journalist and fellow Labour Party member Sam Kriss had been accused of sexual assault.
The post, which was shared on the Facebook page “Monitoring the left’s support for rape culture,” and titled “#MeToo and Sam Kriss” explained in detail about Kriss’ sexual harassment, which Kriss himself described as “sexual aggression” in his response to the accusation, which he wrote on medium.com, where he admits wrongdoing, however, seems to claim that previous sexual contact gave him permission.
A quotation taken from the page which published the post further expands on what they think of his ‘response’ “Deliberately emphasises prior sexual contact (whether true or not, and based on this we would have to suspect, also uncomfortable for the victim), to explain why he wasn’t so interested in her enthusiasm. Buying into the standard tacit acceptance that prior contact denotes rights to ongoing access.”
The author said that once Kriss realised she wasn’t going to go home with him, he began forcing himself on her “He began forcibly ‘snogging’ (I can hardly call it kissing given it was so aggressive) me at the bus stop,” she wrote. “I turned my head away so it was out of reach, to which Sam started grabbing at my breasts with both hands. There were, rather mortifyingly, other people at the bus stop trying to ignore this scene.”
Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) will take a final decision on whether Sam will be permanently excluded from the party.
Sources at VICE, which has previously commissioned the writer has told Buzzfeed UK they would not be working with him again.
A party spokesman said: “The Labour Party is aware of complaints about Sam Kriss. The party takes all complaints seriously and will take all appropriate action in line with the party’s rulebook and procedures.”
It is sickening that someone who comes from the Labour Party can act like this, using his position of power to his advantage thinking he has god given right to a woman’s body because of ‘previous sexual contact’… the Labour Party has taken the right step in suspending Sam, however, he has admitted wrongdoing, therefore we support his permanent ban from the Labour Party and recommend a police investigation, which Labour MP Jess Phillips has advocated.
If the Labour Party doesn’t take a stand against sexual harassment, who will?