The power of #MeToo
Alyssa Milano attends a protest against Donald Trump's plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military, in New York City, July 26, 2017. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Last month, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out a suggestion for those who have been victims of sexual harassment or assault to simply “raise their hand” and tweet #MeToo. The results were astounding. More than a million people spoke up, sharing their stories and showing the world how big an issue sexual harassment truly is.
One tweet has brought together 1.7 million voices from 85 countries. Standing side by side, together, our movement will only grow. #MeToo
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 24, 2017
“The power of #MeToo, though, is that it takes something that women had long kept quiet about and transforms it into a movement. [...] It’s simply an attempt to get people to understand the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in society. To get women, and men, to raise their hands.” ~ Sophie Gilbert via The Atlantic
Aside from a feeling of empowerment for women and victims of sexual assault, campaigns like #MeToo have started to change minds on a larger scale. According to Slate, they have seen real empathy and changes in attitude concerning “rape culture” in their comments section. Here’s a great excerpt from one of the members of Slate’s comment moderation team:
"Some who once mocked the idea of rape culture have come to recognize the meaning behind the term as they ponder how a culture of silence enabled abusive men. Others who thought that sexual harassment was a very rare occurrence, overinflated by feminists, have seen people close to them sharing stories under the hashtag #MeToo and come to believe it is more common and more urgently in need of fixing than they previously thought. Many have begun to feel more empathy for women put in impossible situations when before they might have tuned a single story out." ~ Evan Urquhart via Slate