From all the events in a year, it’s sometimes hard to separate the meaningful from the trivial. But with the passage of time, we’re able to see the developments that really changed our world. So when we look back on 2017, let’s hope that the story we all remember is the me-too movement. Unfortunately, there have been other moments when we thought the tide had turned on sexual harassment and assault but the momentum soon fizzled.
But 2017 may have been different. Powerful business executives and Hollywood figures, who once would have had their actions tolerated and even covered up, have lost their jobs, perhaps even their careers. And there’s a growing sense that improper behaviour can no longer be accepted. It will take many more milestones before we can conclude that this is more than a short-term phenomenon. But let’s hope that people who would use their power for sexual advantage have seen enough evidence this year to scare them into behaving appropriately. If anything good comes from 2017, let it be that.