UW women's studies professor weighs in on #MeToo's place in hist - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW women's studies professor weighs in on #MeToo's place in history

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As Time Magazine named its Person of the Year "The Silence Breakers," a UW Madison women's studies professor says this cultural shift is opening the door for women to tell their stories.  

Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and gender & women's studies, has been studying the psychology of women since 1975.  "[#MeToo] is a moment when women said, we're not going to take it anymore," said Hyde.  "To me it's just an amazing movement.  I wouldn't have forecast it."

Hyde calls #MeToo a "resurgence" of other women's movements in the U.S. and thinks we'll likely be reading about the #MeToo movement in the history books someday.  "It'll be seen as a major chapter I think in the history of the women's movement, and I hope in American history," said Hyde.  

She suspects it will be grouped in history with the 2016 election of President Donald Trump and the women's marches following his inauguration.  "I actually think that Trump's election may mark the rebirth of the women's movement, the feminist movement," said Hyde.  

The question remains, where does the movement go from here?

"This is the fastest moving social chain we've seen in decades," said Edward Felsenthal, Time's Editor-in-Chief.  "We look at the degree to which this is really just the beginning."

"I don't think we're going to get rid of sexual harassment in the workplace, but I sure think we can make it decline. I think that we can have better reporting mechanisms, so that people are spoken to and told, this is not acceptable behavior," said Hyde.  

Hyde added, she thinks sexual harassment sanctions will continue, and the workplace regulations in place will be enforced more swiftly and strictly.  

Time's Person of the Year issue will be on store shelves Friday.  

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