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When is a grope a grope? MeToo movement challenged

The criticism came swiftly last week after Atlantic magazine published a writer's account saying that Sen. Al Franken "groped" her in 2009 by putting his hand on her waist during a photo op, "grabbing a handful of flesh" and squeezing at least twice.

"I'm sorry, is that sexual assault now? To squeeze someone's waist?" one Twitter user wrote.

"And this is your definition of a grope? Come on! This accusation trivializes real predation and abuse. Knock it off!" a woman echoed on Facebook.

"We are officially  offtherails," another posted.

It was the type of backlash some feared. As a reckoning over sexual harassment sweeps the country, leaders in business, academia and other walks of life are pushing to sustain the momentum and ensure a positive, lasting cultural change without it getting derailed by politics, social media frenzies and outsize responses to infractions many deem small.

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