Maret 11, 2020

Oleh: M. Afifulloh
(Mahasiswa S3 Pengkajian Amerika Universitas Gadjah Mada dan Dosen Sastra Inggris UBB)

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MeToo movement is one of the women movements aiming at women's right in equal access. It is public discourses about sexism, sexual harassment or sexual violence experienced by women at some point in their life. This study is conducted to analyze how #MeToo movement on Social Media as a symbol of gender equity in and beyond the workplace be a new narrative norm or social construction relating to the toxic of masculinity. How this movement turn into a call for judgment and polarized though: men as perpetrators of sexual violence and women as victims. This paper explains how this movement become polarizations in social life. These polarizations will be seen by two perspectives, feminism and patriarchy.

Before discussing the topic, it is necessary to highlight that discourse is unstable meaning. There is always another side in drawing meaning. As Derrida said that binary opposition is the center of meaning. Mapping the lines that separate the “sides” map onto the logics of mutual exclusivity such as moral or immoral, good or bad, and black or white binaries. There is always a contradiction, as a symbol, language needs to be interpreted in various ways aiming at obtaining the closest meaning as deconstructionist claims that the duplicitous nature of language makes stable meanings impossible.

Deconstruction destabilizes the relationship between signifier and signified. The signifier, the word we hear or read, is of course stable enough, but what it signifies? The signified is according to Derrida subject to an inherent instability.[1] We all know that this instability exists at another level; the meaning of words may change over time, for instance, and phrases that once contained vivid metaphors may now have lost their metaphorical edge. From Derrida’s perspective, language never offers us direct contact with reality; it is not a transparent medium, a window on the world. On the contrary, it always inserts itself between us and the world, like a smudgy screen or a distorting lens. According to Zima[2], deconstruction takes its name from Derrida’s practice: his strategy of analyzing and dismantling texts or more usually, parts of texts in order to reveal their inconsistencies and inner contradictions.

As we know that feminism is a movement and a set of beliefs that problematize gender inequality. Feminists believe that women have been subordinated through men's greater power namely ‘patriarchy’, a social system that is centered by men order. The subordinations are variously expressed in different arenas. By Feminism, they value women’s lives, concerns, and work to improve women's status in social life. Feminist consider how to use their resources (both material and intellectual) to further their goals, and which demands of their institution should be resisted in the name of feminism. The hashtag #MeToo on social media is one of the forms of how the woman use their resources to resist men power as institution. This #MeToo movement brings social opinions about how men as a center, legitimate their oppressive domination to women. #MeToo movement is dedicated to ending the sexual violence in women life. The response was overwhelming, demonstrating the pervasive nature of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence in women social life. The #MeToo movement is successfully be a new narrative norm or social construction relating to the toxic of masculinity, not only in America but the world. This movement is such of the symbol of seeker of truth and the source of truth. The notions of male dominations are clearly portrayed on all the hashtag. This notion is a typical of gender constructed hegemony. Sexual harassment in workplace often occurs in our social life and this is seriously matter.  Women who experienced sexual harassment need to speech out in public and in the law discourses.  The #MeTo movement as a ‘shelter’ for women to tell the story about how men threat them as a sexual object has been successful to foster awareness of discrimination. 

The problem is when some women who legitimate as victim in this movement takes apart not because they are victim but political goals. They take advantage this movement to mobilize mob of people so they can socially construct that patriarchy is a power and this power should be demised. The complaint represented by this movement is an individual complaint on social media which later becomes a judge, jury, and executioner (symbolic), but they are unable to explain whether the alleged action was wrong before the law. It operates through ‘blind’ rage that’s not based on facts and the prejudices that destroy the lives of people whose crime has not been proved in numerous cases.

The movement makes people aware of the hidden social reality, since power disguises it.  The other is a barbaric legitimacy that forms a social law; anyone can judge people without sufficient evidence and in one case only as a story or ‘fake-essay’ that brought down the mostly men whose socially and economically in high-class. The questions are who is ‘him’? Who is ‘her’? This movement in some point is only as a profitable economic tool. The victims take a shortcut to be famous or earn a lot of money only by upload ‘her story’. It is very dangerous if social media is a law legitimating.  The movement is judged as ultimately “good” or “bad” with very little consideration of what these moral signifiers might mean, and positioned as “left” or “right”, with little to no interrogation of the constitution or historicity of these positions.

[1] Hans Bertens. 2008. Literary Theory. The basics. 2nd edition. Taylor and Francis Group: London and New York, p. 98.
[2] Peter V. Zima. 2002. Deconstruction and Critical Theory. London: Continuum, p. 1.



Penulis bernama M.Afifulloh saat ini sedang mengambil studi untuk gelar Doktornya di bidang Pengkajian Amerika di UGM. Ia merupakan dosen Sastra Inggris di Universitas Bangka Belitung. Disamping itu, ia memiliki bisnis kuliner dengan nama "Dapoer Alana" yang saat ini berjuang mengalahkan Mc. Donald dan KFC, untuk menguasai bisnis perkulineran di dunia

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