Erin O’Connor discusses why her thoughts on #MeToo have changed

Erin O’Connor initially dismissed the #MeToo movement as “glamorous noise from Hollywood” but has now changed her mind.The movement gained traction in the wake of the wave of sexual abuse allegations that began to sweep Hollywood in late 2017, though s…

Erin O’Connor initially dismissed the #MeToo movement as “glamorous noise from Hollywood” but has now changed her mind.

The movement gained traction in the wake of the wave of sexual abuse allegations that began to sweep Hollywood in late 2017, though social activist Tarana Burke actually coined the phrase in 2006.

In an essay for British GQ, English model Erin has discussed how her thoughts on #MeToo have drastically changed in recent months, as well as opening up about her “complex relationship with feminism”.

“Up until now I haven’t been on a march. I have trudged daily, believing in my own feminism, but couldn’t find my place in the movement. What changed?” she wrote. “Fundamentally, I haven’t changed, but the way I look at the Me Too movement has.

“To be blunt, my initial reaction to Me Too was that it was mainly glamorous noise from Hollywood. For every black dress swishing into focus, I feared we weren’t having conversations about everyday autonomy. How do we reach women whose daily existence is filled with fear, anguish and hopelessness, women who are trapped and punished and stifled because of being born the wrong race, the wrong class, the wrong sex?”

This led the 40-year-old to ask herself why she was more focused on the “women in black”, celebrities wearing black at big award ceremonies, rather than the perpetrators of sexual abuse.

She was also hit with the realisation that it is critical for older women to embolden the next generation, a fact that hit home after she listened to Baroness Helena Kennedy talking at a debate titled Has The Me Too Movement Gone Too Far?

“A willingness to listen is a willingness to change,” she continued. “And now I feel wholly determined to celebrate and promote Me Too and the many narratives it holds. I want to hear those future generations. I want to learn from them and see their battles won.

“Feminism is too often perceived as a barrier, but what it should be – for all genders – is an enlightenment.”

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