By: Abbey Morelli, Staff Writer
Over the past few weeks, #Me Too has been popping up all over Twitter accounts and other social media platforms. The message behind this hashtag and the magnitude of its usage have been shocking. On October 15th, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet… Me too. Suggested by a friend: ‘If all the women who have been sexually assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.’” The goal is to spread the word about this personal trauma that could otherwise be left untold.
You may have seen women and men in your life post this hashtag on their profiles with no explanation to accompany it. That is part of the idea, to give a voice to survivors who are not comfortable discussing their personal trauma. More and more people have grown comfortable posting in this way in order to claim themselves and their own bodies while standing alongside family, friends, and strangers who share a similar experience or trauma. Sexual assaults often go unreported for fear of embarrassment or lack of action. Many fear that no one would believe them. This movement is a call to let it be known that you are not alone. It is a way to show solidarity with one another by simply saying: “Me Too.”
The movement was originally created by activist Tarana Burke, founder of the nonprofit Just Be Inc. She heard a thirteen-year-old girl’s story of assault and was horrified, seeking a change. Burke’s later movement became titled “Me Too.” She worked to provide resources to survivors of sexual assault and black women in the south, hoping they would find, in her words, “empowerment through empathy.” By bringing the campaign to twitter, Milano has incited an overwhelming number of social media postings and has enabled millions to speak out on a topic that is personal and invasive. The movement has called special attention to producer Harvey Weinstein, illuminating numerous instances when he has targeted and sexually assaulted actors. The joining of men and women who continue to speak about their experiences is what makes this phenomenon so powerful.
Although the goal was to raise awareness and spark a reaction, it is imperative that survivors continue to feel that people will take action if they speak out. This movement has made a drastic effect in people’s minds already. It is proof that this is an ongoing issue that is not going to be silenced any longer. Women and men are ready for a change and for sexual assault to be taken seriously. It has enabled them to take control by simply saying “Me Too,” and the movement is a call to action for others to stand with them.