Anger at men’s behaviour has erupted in the US several times in the past: from the “smash the masher” movement of the early 1900s, where women fought back against street harassers with hatpins and umbrellas, to the feminist “speak-out” sessions of the 1970s to the support for Anita Hill in the 1990s. But what led to today’s tipping point? While the #metoo campaign played a crucial role, other elements also helped create a tinderbox waiting for a Weinstein-like spark.