If you look at the most effective social movements that enacted real change, they all shared the same thing in common: an unwavering focus and consistent message. Some of the most notable movements that are occurring right now are Black Lives Matter and #MeToo.
A recent article written by Babe.net journalist Katie Way is being accused of dividing the #MeToo movement.
Way published a story that tells the tale of Grace (not her real name) and her encounter with actor and comedian Aziz Ansari.
There were varying opinions on the piece and it's started a discussion on just where the #MeToo movement is headed. There are many who believe that Way's story detracts from the significance of other survivor's narratives in the movement by "forcing" the idea that Aziz Ansari is guilty of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
Some people believe that Ansari should've been able to read Grace's nonverbal cues, and that many people who argue against that are trying to protect his "male artistry."
HLN anchor Ashleigh Banfield went so far as to call Way's Ansari piece "reckless" and ultimately harmful to the #MeToo movement. Banfield invited the writer on her show to discuss the article.
Way responded to Banfield's request in a way that many are calling unprofessional. The email was leaked online and from the looks of it, it seems like the Babe writer was pretty salty about getting her writing critiqued.
In the email, Way age-shames Banfield and discredits her relevance while simultaneously patting herself on her back.
There are a lot of people who are calling Way's response a bad look for the young writer.
ok one last thing, if you are 22 and working for babe dot net can you really afford to turn down national tv appearances??— Manisha Krishnan (@ManishaKrishnan) January 17, 2018
Many people were disappointed that a journalist who was supposedly penning a story about a successful man in the entertainment industry abusing his power at the expense of a woman, stooped to shaming another woman on her looks and age.
The @babedotnet Aziz Ansari writer attacking another woman’s age,beauty & popularity is hugely disapointing. We’re already forced to combat “meangirl” stereotypes. This email advances them &hurts important conversations abt sexual misconduct &education sparked by the Ansari piece https://t.co/lRVyaw0s0U— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) January 17, 2018
Others just thought it showed a lack of poise on Way's part.
While others just thought Way was being arrogant.
. @maxwelltani obtained the full email that @k80way sent to @TVAshleigh's colleague - imagine thinking so highly of yourself that you send the last graf in an email...on top of the horrible comments about Ashleigh's appearance and age. https://t.co/lBjeADJd6l pic.twitter.com/7kx0yGoD9W— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 17, 2018
People began listing Banfield's accomplishments in the field in response to Way's biting email.
The journalist maligned here as an old ugly has-been - @TVAshleigh - did one of the bravest things any journalist has done in the War on Terror: gave a stinging critique of how US media covers wars, when she was a rising star at MSNBC (& got fired for it) https://t.co/zyunYflKzt https://t.co/riyPPYGy8M— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 17, 2018
It's totally legitimate to criticize her commentary (or any other journalists') on the Aziz story. I would think one could do that without mocking her for being an old has-been hag with ugly lipstick and highlights.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 17, 2018
While others thought that Way was thinking more of herself than the woman she wrote about when she penned the response to Banfield.
Others loved Way's response to Banfield's criticism.
She was praised by some Twitter users for "standing her ground."
Again, I’m so fascinated by why we insist on dragging young women for their form or phrasing, instead of the substance.— Heidi N Moore (@moorehn) January 17, 2018
There were also people who didn't take "sides" per se, and that a series of unfortunate events ultimately led to this email.
Banfield responded to Way's email, calling the young journalist a hypocrite.
Let's hope that this journalism-drama brings more eyes to the #MeToo movement and holds men in positions of power accountable for breaking the law and taking advantage of people and encourages others to call those men out.