Main Article Content
The #MeToo movement has had a profound cultural impact on US society, and notably on US party politics. While many studies have addressed the #MeToo-related controversy arising from the Brett Kavanaugh nomination to Supreme Court Justice in 2018, the relationship between #MeToo and US politics before this event has remained understudied. This article, therefore, addresses this gap by looking at the role of politics at the beginning of the #MeToo movement. Focusing on the first six months of online activity on Twitter (October 2017 – April 2018), over 2 million tweets with the #MeToo hashtag are analyzed to identify the main activity patterns across the dataset and to gain insight on user behavior and participation in the conversation. Results point to the weaponization of #MeToo in the political context from its inception. It is suggested that #MeToo reflects the polarized political climate in the US and that it can be conceptualized as part of the wider “culture wars” (Hunter 1991) that characterize the public debate.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.