What a difference a year makes. Since the #MeToo campaign started and spread globally, things changed in the way women got empowered to speak up.
Although typically, social norms change slowly — or used to. Today social media may mean that we see more of these sharp shifts. Where have we landed?
Many businesses now make risk assessments differently than they did a year ago. Until #MeToo, a well-run business faced with a sexual harassment complaint typically kept things quiet even if they fired someone after an investigation into the complaint. This was felt the best defence against a defamation suit, because when employees deemed unfairly accused won such suits, recoveries could be in the millions.
These verdicts can pay out higher than the ones sexual harassment survivors get during private arbitrations. And businesses often decided they could reach no conclusions because it was a “he said-she said situation”. Today, both stereotypes that traditionally protected sexual harassers have waned. Eighty per cent of Americans now think that women not being believed is a problem, and two-thirds (64 per cent) now say that in their workplace the victim is more likely than the accuser to be believed, which spells the waning of the vengeful lying slut stereotype. The view that sexual harassment is merely naughty is waning, too, now that 87 per cent of Americans favour zero-tolerance.