While the #MeToo movement was at the core of outing some of the worst sexual predators in society who used their power and influence to force women into sexual situations, it’s also had a deleterious effect on society according to Americans.
This is mostly due in part to the fact that Americans believe that the movement has produced just as many fake claims than real ones.
As Fortune highlights, the latest poll from PEW on the #MeToo movement shows that many men and women have found it harder to interact with one another, especially in the workplace, and that the movement hasn’t really opened up further opportunities for women:
Still, the data suggests that observers are deeply skeptical that the current sexual harassment-related shake-up will result in a fairer and more gender-neutral workplace. More than half of poll respondents told Pew that the increased focus on harassment will make it harder for men to interact with women at work (at 55%, men were slightly more likely to say so than women.) The older the cohort, the more likely they were to say that #MeToo will make such interactions harder on men.
Respondents found the outlook for women equally bleak: 51% said that the current reckoning over sexual harassment and assault will not make “much difference” in the opportunities available to women in the workplace.
PEW notes in their poll that 31 percent of the 6,251 respondents they polled believe that false claims are a major problem in our society while 45 percent think they’re a minor problem. While more consider baseless allegation to be a lesser problem, the effects are still being felt.
While men may never have been accused of sexual misconduct, the #MeToo era has produced its fair share of proof that you don’t need to be guilty at all. A mere accusation is all it takes for the public to believe that you’re a sexual assaulting villain. This may make it harder for businesses to trust women, who may think it safer to hire men.
If that is the case, then the #MeToo movement has set women back, and caused more harm to women due to the baseless charges members of the movement tend to throw around, than it actually helped.