The Intersection of Cultural Practices and Social Movements: A Closer Look at MeToo, Nakba, and Cultural Values

Guy Spier

Hatched by Guy Spier

May 03, 2024

4 min read


The Intersection of Cultural Practices and Social Movements: A Closer Look at MeToo, Nakba, and Cultural Values


In recent years, numerous social movements have gained momentum, shedding light on various issues and advocating for change. Two such movements that have captured global attention are MeToo and the Nakba. While they may seem unrelated at first glance, a closer examination reveals a common thread in the form of cultural values and their influence on societal progress. This article aims to explore the intersection of these movements and the impact of cultural practices on their trajectories.

MeToo unless you're a Jew: Unveiling the Influence of Cultural Identity:

The MeToo movement, which gained prominence in 2017, provided a platform for survivors of sexual harassment and assault to share their experiences and demand justice. However, it is essential to recognize that the movement's reach and impact may differ across cultural contexts. The phrase "MeToo unless you're a Jew" highlights the potential discrepancies in the movement's reception among different cultural groups.

While the MeToo movement has been successful in bringing awareness to the prevalence of sexual misconduct, it is crucial to acknowledge that cultural identities can shape the way individuals interpret and respond to the movement. Cultural values, such as the emphasis on honor and shame, can influence the willingness of individuals to come forward and share their experiences openly. In some cultures, the dominant voices may promote values that conflict with the principles underpinning the MeToo movement, thus hindering progress in addressing sexual harassment.

Why the Arab World Is Lost in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep It There:

The Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic, refers to the displacement and dispossession of Palestinians during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The article "Why the Arab World Is Lost in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep It There" delves into the emotional impact of this event and its enduring influence on the Arab world. The Nakba serves as a poignant reminder of the power of historical events and their ability to shape collective identities and perpetuate emotional trauma.

While the Nakba is specific to the Palestinian experience, it highlights a broader phenomenon: the entrenchment of cultural practices and historical events in the collective psyche. The emotional attachment to the Nakba has the potential to hinder progress towards peace and reconciliation in the region. The perpetuation of this emotional Nakba serves as a reminder that cultural values and historical narratives can have a profound impact on societal dynamics and the potential for positive change.

Connecting the Dots: Cultural Values and Societal Progress:

Despite the differences between MeToo and the Nakba, both movements underscore the significance of cultural values in shaping societal progress. In some cultures, the dominant voices openly promote honor/shame values, which can impede the advancement of liberal society and hinder movements advocating for change.

It is crucial to recognize that cultural values are deeply ingrained and may evolve at a slower pace than societal expectations. However, acknowledging the influence of these values is the first step towards fostering understanding and promoting positive change. By engaging in dialogue and challenging ingrained cultural norms, we can bridge the divide between cultural practices and societal progress.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster Dialogue: Encourage open conversations about cultural values and their impact on societal progress. By engaging in respectful dialogue, we can gain a better understanding of different perspectives and work towards finding common ground.
  • 2. Promote Education: Emphasize the importance of education in challenging cultural norms and fostering critical thinking. By equipping individuals with knowledge and understanding, we can empower them to question existing practices and advocate for positive change.
  • 3. Support Intersectional Movements: Recognize the interconnectedness of social movements and the importance of supporting intersectional activism. By amplifying diverse voices and experiences, we can build a more inclusive society that challenges cultural practices and promotes progress.


The intersection of cultural practices and social movements is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. MeToo and the Nakba serve as reminders of the influence cultural values can have on societal progress. By acknowledging these influences, engaging in dialogue, promoting education, and supporting intersectional movements, we can work towards bridging the gap between cultural practices and a more inclusive and progressive society.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)