In the publishing industry, the next chapter is beginning for #MeToo


Alexandra Puga

Without the use of social media, voices could not be heard and stories could not be told. The Me-Too movement has given a voice to over 17,700,000 women since 1998.

Adjunct professor of Publishing Jane Kinney-Denning, executive director of internships and corporate outreach, authored an article in Publishers Weekly called A Call to Action for Publishers In the #Me Too Moment.

The publishing industry has had a major impact on how one would receive an education and affects the future of America. While I asked Professor Kinney-Denning on what she thought about the publishing industry and the role it is playing in our “People are starting to be held accountable in publishing but at a much slower pace that in the film and media industries.” Which includes writers such as Jay Asher and Sherman Alexie. “But writers are only a part of a large industry that is comprised of 80 percent women.” No matter how outnumbered men are within an industry there is still a wage cap and men are still getting away with things that should be unacceptable within our society. The publishing industry is changing the way we are getting an education and understanding our world today. “Yes, books are critically important in helping to create a safe and equitable world” Are books becoming a safe place and becoming comfort mechanism? “They are the only thing that can teach compassion, empathy and humanity and that makes them more important than ever as the world becomes more and more complicated.”

Without the help of these big-name celebrities Time’s up and Me Too would not have such a major shock on society right now. Women’s voices are finally being heard and changes are being made.

“I think so but it would have taken a bit longer. That said, it is hard to understand why this behavior is still tolerated – we have a president whose sexual harassment record is well known –  21 women accusing him of sexual harassment and, he is still in the White House.” Professor Kinney-Denning agrees that the big-name celebrities are creating changes that wouldn’t have happened without them. When women are confronting their abusers’, there is always the fear in their mind of ruining their future due to the power men hold in society.

Professor Kinney-Denning talks about a women’s choice when confronting their accuser “As for women being comfortable confronting their abusers, it is still difficult for women.  Many fear losing their jobs (that they need) and having their careers and reputations destroyed.” There may never be a ‘right time’ for women but with help from other women we are going in the right direction of making change. “That said, women have had enough and are finding great strength and power in numbers.”

Getting a woman’s story out in the right way takes a lot of effort. “I think that this discussion has been brewing for a long time but yes, the Weinstein story opened the floodgates.  But remember it was great journalism that brought this story to life.” Me Too has been a discussion since long before 2017 but with big names and persistent journalism it has spread enormously. “Women have been fighting forever for equality and are well aware that the Harvey Weinsteins of the world are only able to exist and flourish because they are aided and abetted by participants in system that is broken..” There needs to be change in a world and show that there is hope for women and they will not be shut down by the media or their abusers. Professor Kinney-Denning believes, “A cultural shift to equality and diversity in the workplace is critical at this point in time and the only way for real change to happen.”

Without great journalism women would have not been heard and the people would not have been able to listen. “Don’t let your weariness keep you down: participate, speak up, speak out, support, and volunteer.” Professor Kinney-Denning’s advice for those that are involved the publishing industry.

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