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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

The Ability to Listen, Understand, and Take Action

Taylor Berry

Taylor Berry

Taylor Berry

The #metoo movement is a prime example of how the courage of one or a few people can spark a movement for change. It shows the importance of speaking up and how treating people poorly, assaulting them be it verbally or physically, will no longer accepted.

Women are standing up and anyone who feels that they have been demoted to a second class citizenship or treated as anything but equal knows that "#Time is Up Now". The business as usual attitude of treating people unjustly and getting away with it that existed prior to the #metoo campaign has expired. It is the end of the line for such assault. The predators who sexually assault women are being held accountable and people are now voicing their outrage against these attacks. The dialogue and the outrage behind it are similar to other issues that are being forced to the forefront of discussion. Case in point, the concerns voiced by Black Lives Matters, advocates for immigration and DACA along with concerns for economic disparity are now being talked about by many in mainstream America.

What is so powerful about the #metoo movement is that it took two simple words to create a disturbance in our society that amplified the disparate treatment of women by men in power. This outrage has carried over into matters concerning race, economic disparity, and gender.

Another side effect of this #metoo campaign is that it illustrates the power of speech. Speech and civil discourse have a negative and positive effect with its power being determined by the person using it. There are many examples that illustrate the power of negative speech and how it discourages genuine conversation. But when someone pushes back against such hateful speech, the issue rises to the top forcing discussion.

When looking at this from a positive viewpoint it shows the power of how when one individual speaks up and demands more out of everyone that ultimately creates a ripple effect that produces change. It is evident that it only takes one courageous voice to speak up to start a rally cry that unifies people from all walks of life and this union of voices can be used to topple corrupt systems and better the whole.

I think this courage can be mimicked throughout society as it shows the power of not falling victim to societal flaws and instead being willing to have the courage to speak up for oneself, for others who may not out of fear and for future generations.

Another thing that should be highlighted is that society must listen to the cries of injustice and be willing to understand that an individual does not have to experience something first hand in order to be motivated to bring about change. The ability to listen, understand and take action should not be overlooked. A key factor with speech and civil discourse is being able to understand when and where and how to fight injustice so that equality triumphs.

Jan 29, 2018

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