Downtown Talk Examines #MeToo Moment

Dr. Meredith Whitnah

Dr. Meredith Whitnah

Meredith Whitnah, Westmont assistant professor of sociology, speaks about “Making Sense of the #MeToo Moment: An Institutional and Cultural Perspective” on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Santa Barbara University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. The Westmont Downtown Lecture is free and open to the public. No tickets are required; the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051.

“From secular contexts like Hollywood and news organizations, as well as religious ones like the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical megachurches, we have seen the public emergence of numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse,” Whitnah says. “While these contexts have important differences from one another, they also seem to share some interesting similarities that warrant further consideration.”

The lecture will examine how we make sense of the current #MeToo moment and the significance of some of the similarities and differences across this array of important social organizations and institutions. “I will unpack some of the institutional and cultural factors that shape both the problem and our responses to it, highlighting the ways individual people’s experiences intersect with systems much bigger than ourselves,” she says.

Whitnah, who graduated from Gordon College and earned a master’s and a doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, studies the role of religion in both perpetuating and mitigating different forms of social injustice. She began teaching at Westmont in January 2015.