STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

It's OK to criticize the #MeToo movement

Self-help celebrity Tony Robbins got himself into...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 9:25 AM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 9:25 AM

Self-help celebrity Tony Robbins got himself into hot water last week when he suggested that many women speaking out as part of the #MeToo movement are taking advantage of the instant attention and, in doing so, turning victimhood into personal gain.

"If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else, you haven't grown an ounce," Robbins told a crowd gathered at a self-help seminar in San Jose. "All you've done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good."

Not at all surprisingly, women around the world -- including the founder of the movement, Tarana Burke -- accused Robbins of misinterpretation, misogyny and being part of the reason such a movement is justified in the first place.

He's certainly not the first to criticize the movement, nor will he be the last: This week, designer Karl Lagerfeld said he, too, is "fed up" with #MeToo, noting that, "If you don't want your pants pulled about then don't become a model!"

But as others who have come before them have proven, including Liam Neeson and Matt Damon -- two celebrities who found themselves under attack after expressing misgivings about the movement -- challengers to #MeToo do so at their own risk.

And yet, is Robbins wrong?

Let's take a look.

Plenty of brands have swiftly moved to capitalize on #MeToo's momentum and message, including makeup brand Hard Candy, which applied to trademark #MeToo, as well as a Virginia law firm. To say that people aren't taking advantage of the #MeToo movement would be false. So would saying that people, even women, aren't uneasy about it.

In fact, one of Robbins' alleged offenses was in pointing out the flaws in the movement by suggesting that #MeToo has caused attractive women to be shunned by employers. Except there's evidence to back that up, too.

In January, the Miami Herald reported that female staffers and lobbyists have found that male legislators will no longer meet with them in person. In March, the Harvard Business Review reported that many men in finance have begun avoiding hiring, or managing, women.

What's more, one could argue that Robbins was simply speaking his truth, and what else can we expect from a man who's made a living (and a very good one -- Forbes has estimated his net worth as close to $500 million) as a self-help guru? His career has been built on telling people to take control of their power and individuality.

Of course, Robbins' instinct would be to discourage people from joining a movement that is inherently made up of victims, or at least to ask people to be sure their intentions are pure. And the fact is that #MeToo, even at its best, is about finding significance.

What the pushback surrounding Robbins' discussion of the growing backlash of the movement makes clear, however, is that #MeToo's work is far from done -- unless, of course, its point is to get people to stop talking about the issues surrounding male and female behavior entirely. Robbins ultimately came out with an apology, because what else was he supposed to do? But silencing discussion is not what leads to change. In fact, it only leads to more, and bigger, problems.

The vast majority of people who believe in or take part in #MeToo are doing it for the right reasons. And we shouldn't let Robbins' comments take away from the meaning and intent of the movement.

But it's OK to be skeptical of a movement. A good movement will stand up to those criticisms and be stronger for it. Which is why we should perhaps be thanking Robbins, and anyone else who comes along expressing reservations about either #MeToo or how people are interpreting it. Discussion will be vital to really enacting change. And so will listening -- even, perhaps especially, to opinions with which we disagree.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39589

Reported Deaths: 1523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12703789
Ramsey5013230
Dakota247993
Stearns242919
Anoka2293110
Nobles16726
Olmsted116817
Washington116340
Mower9652
Rice8598
Scott7834
Clay59538
Kandiyohi5821
Blue Earth5102
Wright4925
Carver4171
Todd4022
Lyon3272
Sherburne3275
Freeborn2980
Watonwan2400
Steele2391
Benton2213
St. Louis19816
Nicollet17612
Martin1715
Cottonwood1370
Goodhue1328
Winona13115
Le Sueur1101
Pine1100
Crow Wing10912
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod940
Dodge920
Carlton880
Unassigned8738
Polk842
Chippewa791
Isanti760
Waseca710
Douglas660
Murray660
Itasca6512
Pipestone632
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley552
Pennington520
Brown372
Renville362
Beltrami350
Wabasha350
Mille Lacs342
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston280
Swift231
Norman210
Wilkin213
Redwood200
Cass192
Big Stone170
Grant170
Koochiching171
Roseau170
Aitkin150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32533

Reported Deaths: 735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6827181
Woodbury326444
Black Hawk235558
Buena Vista172411
Johnson13638
Linn132382
Dallas129829
Marshall106319
Scott88310
Story8194
Dubuque77122
Pottawattamie75812
Wapello71231
Crawford6793
Muscatine67544
Sioux4880
Tama47329
Wright3881
Louisa36313
Jasper32917
Plymouth3275
Warren2971
Dickinson2823
Webster2524
Washington2479
Cerro Gordo2011
Hamilton1921
Boone1571
Clay1421
Allamakee1354
Clarke1343
Mahaska11817
Shelby1170
Clinton1151
Poweshiek1078
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1011
Bremer987
Franklin980
Des Moines942
Emmet910
Henry883
Cedar851
Hardin830
Taylor810
Cherokee791
Monona770
Floyd742
Marion740
Benton691
Guthrie694
Jones650
Osceola640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Iowa611
Buchanan601
Butler602
Humboldt571
Calhoun552
Hancock541
Harrison540
Lee542
Delaware531
Fayette520
Monroe517
Madison492
Lyon470
Clayton463
Mills430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Palo Alto420
Mitchell410
Grundy400
Howard370
Jackson370
Kossuth370
Union360
Lucas314
Winnebago300
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Keokuk201
Page200
Unassigned200
Worth200
Adair170
Audubon161
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 65°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Austin
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Cooler air finally filtering in, rain chance returns Saturday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Advice for safely starting school in the fall

Image

Racial Disparities Regarding Food Security

Image

George Floyd's Family Visits Rochester Mural

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/9

Image

Differences between Covid-19 and other illness

Image

Virtual Thursdays Downtown

Image

Tutors needed in Rochester

Image

Discussing evictions with US Sen. Tina Smith

Image

Mask mandate at Mason City city buildings

Image

Preventing Glasses From Fogging Up

Community Events