#MeToo anniversary shows power of social movements, says BU expert with new book


October 12, 2022

A Brandon University professor and his partner, hailed for their expertise in the social and legal landscape of sexual misconduct, will launch their new book in Brandon this week on the fifth anniversary of the start of the #MeToo movement.

In October 2017, Hollywood star Alyssa Milano posted on Twitter, “If you’ve been harassed or sexually assaulted, write ‘me too’ in response to this tweet.”

“The online movement she sparked reignited awareness of sexual misconduct and led to long overdue accountability for powerful people who had gotten away with obnoxious behavior for too long,” says Dr. Christopher Schneider, a sociology professor at BU who co-authored the new book with Dr. Stacey Hannem of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Criminology.

Their new book, Defining sexual misconduct: power, media and #MeToo, will launch in Brandon on Thursday, October 13, at an evening event at BU’s Clark Hall, room 001, from 5-7 p.m. Presented by BU’s Department of Sociology and BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program, the event will feature a conversation with the authors, followed by a book signing and reception. The books will be available for purchase for $35 (cash only) with all proceeds going to the Brandon Food Rescue Store.

The book is already attracting rave reviews, including endorsements luminaries like Dan Savage, Susan Fowler and Dorothy Smith, who were among the most important feminist sociologists of the 20th century.

Milano herself calls the book “must read.”

The book explores four decades of changing public discourse around sexual misconduct, helping illustrate the broader social trends that have shaped the impact of #MeToo. Now, five years after that moment, some of the original perpetrators are trying to return, while reports of sexual misconduct continue to mount.

“One only has to look at the ongoing Hockey Canada scandal to see that sexual misconduct remains a pressing and timely concern,” says Schneider. “It will take continued and concerted effort, but #MeToo shows the power people have to fight against sexual misconduct.”

Hannem adds that pushing back is just the start.

“Ongoing and open conversations about the realities of sexual violence are needed to move the #MeToo movement from a movement of public awareness to a movement of action and accountability,” she says. “More changes are needed.”

Helping to keep the conversation moving, Schneider and Hannem recently penned columns for outlets like the Globe and Mailthe Pittsburgh Tribune reviewthe national postand Foreword Notice.

The book launch helps lead into a weekend of on-campus activities for Homecoming 2022.

Following the launch of their book in Brandon, Drs. Schneider and Hannem will also give a public speech for the Winnipeg Library, plus noon hour on Friday, October 14.


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