#MeToo – how many of you have come across these two words a lot this month? Yeah… me too. This month, The New York Times broke the news about the sexual harassment allegations made against Harvey Weinstein. However, unlike many sexual abuse stories this particular case has surprisingly had a positive outcome and it’s to do with those two little words.
Many of you will be familiar with the status that broke the internet, written by actress Alyssa Milano:
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” – Alyssa Milano
The hashtag #MeToo instantly went viral. Women, and men alike, started using this hashtag to tell the world about the harassment they had experienced themselves. Suddenly, it wasn’t about one person or one situation. It was about honesty, strength in numbers and accountability. Most importantly, it was about the victims. All of them.
This scenario is most certainly not a positive one, but what is positive is the way it has enabled people to speak up. Sexual harassment happens every day – have you ever had someone look at you, speak to you or touch you inappropriately? Yeah, me too. It’s happening all around us, every day, and it is not ok.
However now thanks to #MeToo, the magnitude of the problem (just as Alyssa proposed in her social media post) is being acknowledged. What’s more is that it has given those that have been unfortunate enough to be the victims of sexual abuse a platform to voice their story. Victims can now tell the world what has happened to them — it has given people the confidence to speak up. Keeping the conversation going and allowing people to connect and express themselves and their experiences is crucial in this situation and solidarity is key.
When we all sit back and think about instances like these, we take some time to reflect. How do we feel? What can we do? How do we share our stories and support? #MeToo grew louder. It wasn’t just about the fact that the hashtag had gone viral, but that so many people could relate. Your experiences are valid and your details are important. Whether you yourself have experienced sexual harassment first hand, you know someone who has or you just want to show your support, we are encouraging an important dialogue and holding people accountable for their actions.
The world will sadly continue to battle cases like this but what this situation has also taught us is that humanity will always fight back, and in this case, continue to do all they can to share their stories and support. This is far from over and isn’t just a fad or viral social media hashtag that will soon fade to nothing. We can already see people can’t fade away and escape the blame. The ever-important conversation of sexual harassment is still going but more than that, we’re hoping this will continue to encourage real change and send a message. This is not okay. We will speak up. We will not tolerate it. Don’t try to shush us. Like we said before, there is strength in numbers. Society has been empowered thanks to two simple words. Did you ever think that would happen? Yeah, me too.