In the early days of the women’s movement in the 1960s-70s, we had consciousness raising groups where women met weekly to discuss the emotional, social, political conflicts in our lives. There were strict guidelines: just listening to other women describe their experience, no judging, no criticizing. To many of us, consciousness raising was absolutely essential to understanding that what felt like personal failings were actually part of the psychology of the oppression of women.
That what makes this #MeToo movement so marvelous. It’s like a mass consciousness raising movement because it drags out of the shadows the shame & guilt women often feel when they are victims of harassment, assault, violence–as if they were somehow responsible for what happened to them. Refuting that collective self-reproach & guilt will advance the struggle against these crimes & advance women’s liberation.