Sex and power
#MeToo, one year on
A movement sparked by an alleged rapist could be the most powerful force for equality since women’s suffrage
A year ago Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a sexual predator.
Until then his treatment of women was an open secret among some of the film industry's publicists, lawyers and journalists.
Mr. Weinstein had been protected by an unspoken assumption that in some situations powerful men can set their own rules.
Over the past year that assumption has unravelled with welcome speed.
In every walk of life powerful men have been forced out, and not just in America.
Now Brett Kavanaugh may be denied a seat on America's highest court following a series of accusations that he committed sexual assaults decades ago as a student.
What began on the casting couch has made its way to the Supreme Court bench.
That is progress.
And yet the fate of the #MeToo movement still hangs in the balance in America, the country where it began and where it has had the greatest effect.
To see why, only look at the case of Mr. Kavanaugh—who, as we went to press, was due to give testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee along with Christine Blasey Ford, his main accuser.
The good news is that the appetite for change is profound;
the bad news is that men’s predation of women risks becoming yet one more battlefield in America's all-consuming culture wars.
Thanks to #MeToo, women's testimony is at last being taken more seriously.
For too long, when a woman spoke out against a man, the suspicion was turned back on her.
In 1991 when Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas, now a Supreme Court judge, of sexual harassment, his defenders smeared her as "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty".
The machine backing Mr. Kavanaugh is equally determined.
However, it has refrained from questioning either Ms. Blasey Ford's sanity or her morals.
In 2018 voters would find that unacceptable.