(© picture-alliance/dpa)


  14 Debates

Over the last five years, thousands of women have exposed their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse under the hashtag MeToo. Originating in the US against the backdrop of the Weinstein scandal, the movement quickly gained international dimensions. Europe's press takes stock.

On Tuesday evening on Dutch TV talk show Vandaag Inside, the prominent and controversial football commentator Johan Derksen admitted amid laughter that as a 22-year-old he raped a drunk unconscious woman. Faced with the indignant reaction from the public, the next day Derksen gave a less incriminating version of the events. The public prosecutor's office now plans to investigate the case. The Dutch press is appalled.

Journalists have revealed numerous cases of sexual abuse of contestants on the Dutch TV casting show The Voice of Holland over a period of several years. Nineteen women came forward after the journalists launched an appeal last year. Media entrepreneur and long-time producer John de Mol expressed shock but has now come under fire himself.

A women's football player has sparked a major Metoo debate after making public that she was lured into a sexual relationship that started when she was 14 and went on for several years by her then 52-year-old coach Getúlio Aurelio Fredo. Observers are sceptical as to whether raising the age of consent from 14 to 16, as is now under discussion, can solve the problem.

Accusations of harassment against Placido Domingo have prompted several operas to cancel the Spanish tenor's performances. In a media report nine women have accused Domingo of using his power and fame to try to pressure them into sexual relationships. The 78-year-old superstar has denied the allegations in a written statement. Not all commentators believe this will help his situation.

In the row over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh US President Donald Trump has instructed the FBI to open an investigation into the affair. The agency is to examine the allegations against the judge before the US Senate votes on his appointment. Commentators discuss the impact the MeToo movement has had in the Kavanaugh affair.

Denmark has been rocked by a scandal over welcome rituals at grammar schools. According to reports one of the rituals involves 15 and 16-year-old girls starting upper school being selected to be waitresses at a dinner for pupils of the graduating classes. They are made to follow a dress code that includes wearing red panties and are often subjected to sexual harassment. Danish media are appalled.

Serena Williams received three warnings from umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open women's final. After the match Williams called Ramos a "thief" and accused him of sexism, pointing out that men had not received warnings under similar circumstances. Was her accusation justified?

British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced his resignation as a consequence of the debate over sexual harassment and abuse. Other members of government and Tory MPs are also suspected of sexual harassment. What does this mean for Prime Minister May's government?

While the MeToo campaign against sexualised violence is losing steam in other countries, in Sweden its impact is increasing. First female artists and journalists joined the protest movement, then citizens from all walks of life followed suit. Rightly so, Swedish media write, because in this country where even the prime minister calls himself a feminist, too many people are still looking the other way.

After the 90th Oscars awards ceremony in Los Angeles commentators are not so preoccupied with the winners, like the fantasy romance "The Shape of Water", which won four Oscars. Instead they examine how Hollywood is reacting to the abuse scandals and whether it is defying the concept of America propagated by Donald Trump.

The US Time magazine has named the social media campaign MeToo its "Person of the Year" 2017. With the hashtag MeToo women have drawn attention to how widespread sexual harassment and violence have become. According to the magazine the campaigners have triggered a major cultural shift. Commentators disagree as to whether the movement will change things in the long-term.

Clumsy flirting isn't a crime, 100 prominent French women including actress Catherine Deneuve have posited. In a commentary piece for Le Monde they criticise the MeToo campaign, saying it has created a climate of denunciation, fuels hatred of men and works against sexual freedom. The heated debate over the MeToo campaign continues.

Thousands of women have described their experiences of sexualised violence on social networks using the MeToo hashtag. They are reacting to the public accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly harassed and raped a number of actresses over several decades. All sections of society must engage in the fight against sexual harassment, commentators urge.