#MeToo is an initiative aimed to highlight how common and rampant assault and harassment are. Responses have poured in across social media emphasising how deep the problem is. What do we need to do to keep the movement alive?
A social media initiative to accent the stories of sexual harassment and assault, the #MeToo campaign has found resonating hearts throughout different ages, geographical boundaries, and backgrounds. It was started by Tarana Burke over ten years ago. The campaign was turned into a hashtag by American actress, producer, and activist, Alyssa Milano after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, was accused of having sexually harassed and assaulted over thirty young models and actresses. The campaign has been trending on Twitter, Facebook and has even made waves on Instagram. Indeed, social media can play a very important role to fight patriarchy. In the words of Tarana Burke “Me Too is largely about empathy. We use a term called empowerment through empathy. It’s short and succinct but it’s powerful”. #MeToo has allowed thousands of people to speak out against sexual assault and has gained immense traction on social media.
While Trump became the American President despite several accusations of assault against him, in France prosecutors ruled that an eleven year old girl “consented” to have sex with a 28 year old. In India politicians continue to blame everything to the victims clothing, whilst the real perpetrator- egotistical men who don’t have any fear are never called out. Authorities continue to act as the agents of patriarchy, with problematic laws, delayed justice and corruption being the preferred methods of subjugation. Along with that, sexist films, and songs that objectify women are equally guilty of promoting harassment. The Me Too campaign should not be limited to sharing our stories; it should act as a reminder of why we need to crush the patriarchy, now more than ever.
Me Too, has seen a fair degree of sceptics. While some people see it as a revolutionary movement that highlight how common sexual assault is; others see it as a way of focusing the harassment related narrative only to the victim. It is therefore even more important that we carry forward this responsibility and create awareness about sexual harassment and assault. We should be more thoughtful of our actions and of those around us: this would mean recognising and calling out people who make crude jokes, and show a discriminatory attitude towards women. By voicing our hurt, pain, and trauma we have set wheels to a movement that could redefine societal perception of victims and assault in the 21st century. It falls upon us to fearlessly speak up against any kind of victim-shaming and blaming. The Me Too movement will only be a success when we go above and beyond to fight for the cause of social justice and freedom from fear of harassment.
Feature Image Credits: Pinkvilla
Image Credits: Recode