Missouri senator Claire McCaskill (D.) responded to a question from a college student on the #MeToo movement by saying its title makes her “a little uncomfortable” and voiced concern that those accused of sexual assault aren’t being given an opportunity to defend themselves.
“The #MeToo movement is a large generic title that makes me a little uncomfortable,” McCaskill said when asked about it during a Tuesday event at University of Missouri-St. Louis.
McCaskill went on to detail her own experience as a prosecutor working sexual assault cases, adding that she had her own “#MeToo movements” during her time in the state legislature. She said she was concerned that specifics of incidents are losing significance because of the larger #MeToo umbrella that they now fall under.
“I think that it is better for us to talk about the specifics of incidents and make sure that we are not in such a rush to wrap it all up into a two-word hashtag that we forget very important things like due process,” McCaskill said. “And that we forget important things like making sure that there’s a system in place that everyone can be heard fairly. And most importantly, that the survivors have the support they need to make educated decisions about the way forward.”
McCaskill has found herself involved with numerous #MeToo incidents in the past year.
Last December she came out in support of ousting fellow Democrat Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), one of her closest friends in the Senate, after he was the subject of multiple groping allegations. An attack ad also popped up this summer referencing domestic abuse allegations made against her husband by an ex-wife. Her campaign called the ad an “ugly and shameful personal attack.”