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“Wear Black on Wednesdays:” Bringing Attention to the #MeToo Movement at PLNU

Decisions and emotions took an unexpected turn on Friday afternoon when comments by Senator Jeff Flake prompted President Donald J. Trump to delay the vote on whether or not Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh would be elected to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A weeklong, limited FBI investigation will continue this week into the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh. The women, three named and one anonymous, who accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual assault will be interviewed, and named witnesses at the described sexual assault of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will also be questioned, according to an article by New York Times (Niraj Chokshi and Julia Jacobs, 2018).

An official vote will take place after this weeklong investigation, deciding whether or not Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh will secure a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The accusations brought against Judge Kavanaugh are just a few in a long line of women who have come forward in the past few years with sexual assault accusations against government officials, CEOs, bosses, and other high-ranking men.

This overwhelm of sexual assault victims coming forward about their stories has propelled the #MeToo movement that has swept the nation and the world. This movement was created to bring attention to the large number of women who have been victims of sexual assault, and to encourage women to speak out.

While on her sabbatical in the fall of 2017, Dr. Linda Beail, Political Science and Women’s Studies professor at PLNU, noticed a resurgence of the #MeToo movement, started nearly a decade ago by African-American civil rights activist Tarana Burke.

Beail came back from her sabbatical around the time when many prominent Hollywood stars wore all black to the Golden Globes in a successful attempt to draw attention to the #MeToo movement.

“[A]fter allegations of sexual misconduct hit so close to home on our own campus, I picked up on that idea and started wearing black to school every teaching day for the rest of the spring semester, in mourning and solidarity with everyone who has survived a #MeToo experience or hopes that Time’s Up on sexual harassment, assault and violence,” said Beail.

She noticed other faculty members wearing all black as well. With her curiosity piqued, she asked others why they were wearing all black, discovering that it was for the same reason.

“[W]e began to invite anyone who wanted to join in this symbolic action of mourning and solidarity to ‘Wear Black on Wednesdays,’” said Beail. “Wednesdays seem to be the days that most people are on campus and when a lot of…department meetings or faculty meetings happen.”

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Maddy Garrett

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