The viral hashtag #MeToo shows the will of many people to treat sexual assault as a problem that should be remedied in terms of social justice, and in the court of public opinion. This sentiment is a self-destructive one that weakens the robust norms and institutions of law and order.
Making right the wrong of sexual assault is a pursuit of individual justice, not social justice. Victims of sexual assault should be provided with resources and perpetrators of sexual assault should face justice, carried out in a court of law.
On Facebook, there was north of 12 million posts, comments, and reactions in less than 24 hours, by 4.7 million users around the world, according to the company. In the U.S., Facebook said 45% of users have had friends who posted ‘me too’.
Facebook’s #MeToo statistics don’t jibe with any generally accepted statistical studies. DOJ statistics show that the overall rape rate has seen a massive decline. Since 1995, the estimated rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations has decreased by about 60 percent.
The US Military is an institution disproportionately composed of men. Women make up 14.5% of the active duty military force of nearly 1.4 million. According to the latest statistics, 93.9 percent of female servicemembers and 98.8 percent of male servicemembers did not experience sexual contact unwanted sexual contact.
These statistics should make us feel optimistic about the progress towards limiting occurrences of sexual assault. Most men have no proclivity for sexual assault, and most women will never be sexually assaulted.
Turning sexual assault, a horrific crime, into a meme and applying social justice solutions, rather than individual justice solutions to it is incredibly ineffective and dangerous. This practice places blame upon the majority of men who are not perpetrators of sexual assault while providing a smoke screen to the few who are.