What We Can All Learn From the #metoo Movement

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Me too.

When I was in China a few years ago, I stood on a public bus one day with some other girl friends on our way into town. The bus was relatively empty, so there was a lot of space to spread out. One older man ignored that and decided to come stand close by me and to press himself up against me as I stood there. My attempts to subtly move away were fruitless; he would just move even closer each time I stepped away. I only escaped when we got off at our bus stop.

This story is not unique.

In the United States, someone is sexually harassed or assaulted every 98 seconds. [1]

Sexual harassment is a serious issue worldwide. Over the past few days, the hashtag #metoo has gone viral on social media in America, bringing more attention to the issue.

The social media trend began with a Twitter post from Alissa Milano, which read, “Me too. Suggested by a friend: ‘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.’”

tarana-2-1508362861She then encouraged those who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to write “me too” on their own pages. While the viral post is very recent, the “me too” movement was started by Tarana Burke, the founder of Girls for Gender Equity, in 2006.  

Although the viral posts will likely soon die out, it is important for us to remember and act on the larger movement. This viral campaign amplifies the acceleration of Tarana Burke’s movement.

  1. Posting “me too” all over the Internet forces people to acknowledge both the prevalence and relevance of sexual harassment. Scrolling through Facebook and encountering a feed dominated by “me too” posts from your sisters, aunts, friends, and others, writing sexual assault off as a problem that does not happen around you becomes unjustifiable. Campaigns such as this open or reopen dialogue about sexual assault and harassment. They force people who would not otherwise have thought about the issue, or had denied that it was a problem, to become aware of its prevalence

  2. The campaign creates a community and a forum for survivors of sexual assault. who have experienced sexual assault feel a stronger sense of solidarity and validation when they get on their social media pages and see that so many others have had similar experiences. Shared experiences may encourage others to open up about their own encounters with sexual assault, and to begin to find the reparations and healing they need.
  3. A viral campaign has the potential to affect change by moving both survivors and allies to act together. Increased awareness and survivor solidarity motivates both the search for more information on sexual harassment and actions to prevent it. This could involve speaking up against harassment on a public bus, advocating for policy change, joining the efforts of an organization, or engaging in supportive conversations with people in your own life who have experienced sexual assault. When a repressed group recognizes their numbers, fear is reduced and action becomes more possible.

Other resources exist to disseminate information about sexual assault and harassment. The WomanStats database, for example, provides a centralized location to read about the specific issues surrounding sexual assault in countries around the world. The LRW variables in the database provide qualitative and quantitative information on the prevalence of sexual assault, laws against sexual assault, and other practices and traditions that contribute to a country’s prevalence of sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a serious issue that needs to be addressed worldwide. The “me too” campaign is a small piece of a larger movement, but any effort to increase awareness of, and activism for, the survivors of sexual harassment and assault is a welcome undertaking.

—by KBH

[1] Vagianos, Alanna. “30 Alarming Statistics That Show The Reality Of Sexual Violence In America.” (2017). https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexual-assault-statistics_us_58e24c14e4b0c777f788d24f

 

58 thoughts on “What We Can All Learn From the #metoo Movement

  1. Ashley Alley says:

    These are great take-always! The campaign encouraged me to get involved with the Sexual Assault Resource Center in my local community, after a friend had previously told me about the Center.

    We cannot just let this campaign fade. We should all try to do something to make sure its effects are lasting!

    • Richard says:

      This is a great perspective on how the me too movement can help spread awareness and help survivors re-heal from their horrific experience. This can help the progress of changing policies in the future to prevent more innocent people from being assaulted from all over the world.

    • LUIS REYES says:

      Luis Reyes- I think the #metoo movement spreads awareness of the situations that are happening out there in the world right now and is a great way to reduce sexual harassment.

  2. V Hudson says:

    I’m so glad to see this “moment of reckoning” we are having in the US! Let us hope and work for it to be more than just a moment–may it be true change!

  3. marlene jimenez says:

    I think its really surprising how many women had the courage to speak up and have the guts to released their stories. its really good that many people are thinking of ideas to decrease or end sexual harassment.

  4. Cecilia Rodriguez says:

    Hey my name is Cecilia I am a freshman and my geography teacher made us look at this blog, I thought it was interesting and sad for man to treat women like that. What happened to the girl that went to China, nothing like that has happened to me because I’m usually with my brothers and my parents, if something like that has happened to me the guy would go home with a black eye.

    • Daniela Garciasoto says:

      Its a very empowering movment which helps women who have been sexualy harassed or abuesed. It helps other women and young girls know they are not allown and that it will get better.

  5. Zayra N. says:

    I respect how women are informing others about sexual harassment and their stories.This can make other women and girls feel like they are not alone.

  6. Jo jo says:

    This impacted the way i look at people that have been sexually assaulted differently because I didnt realize that it was that difficult for the victims to speak up.

    • aLeX says:

      I’m so glad to see this moment of reckoning we are having in the us Let us hope and work for it to be more than just a moment may it be true change

  7. Christian says:

    I actually respect the campaign and really like how women open up and share their experiences.This actually takes a lot of courage and actually helps other women to feel that they are not alone, and help to stop sexual assault.

  8. Anahid says:

    I like this blog because it makes me realize how many women are sexually harassed. I feel like the “Me too” movement really helped women to speak up and not feel alone.

  9. Tairi says:

    In my opinion, the “me too” hashtag is a great way to bring attention to this serious problem.Many people use technology this days, they are more likely to see the “Me too” hashtag than in the news.Also, women would have more support by others that had the same problem.Make them feel like they’re not alone in this.

  10. jesel says:

    in my opinion the #metoo is a good way to prevent sexual harassment. it forces people to acknowledge both the prevalence and revalence of sexual harassment. it also encourages others to open up about their own encounters with sexual harassment.

  11. Pierre says:

    What I found interesting about this article is that a woman stood up and fought against sexual assault. I also find it very brave that she encouraged other women to let others know that they have been through the same thing.

  12. Dulce Gomez says:

    Sexual harassment has gone way too far all over the world. The movement #Metoo is great because it helps others realize that they aren’t alone and that this is a serious case.
    This article makes me feel that the problem is not taken as serious as it should be, i think that a good way to passively encounter this situation is to speak up and tell an authority as well as a well trusted person. Bringing attention to the situation is what is very much needed.

  13. Gustavo says:

    I think that men that who abused women have been abused by parents or someone to get that the thoughts that its OK to do it for someone else. I feel that this happening is horrible for women who cant defend themselves against.Also this will not stop until women are learning to defend themselves.

  14. ian says:

    i am definitely more aware of what is going on around the world with sexual assault happening to women. More people should take action on this problem because women are a really important factor in our society. This could affect all of us in the long run whether or not you are a woman .

  15. David says:

    I felt that the article made me aware of a very harsh and sad situation that i was not aware of before. This article made me feel sad and disappointed that there are people in this world that think they are better than someone and can beat them for no reason.

  16. christopher says:

    I feel like the #MeToo movement has shown many women that they are not alone as they feared and that many women had pass by the same sexual violence and harassment. In my opinion no one should go thru that experience.

  17. naomi says:

    its upsetting how abusive and sick people are, i can relate to the me too movement, i was once close to a person and they stabbed me in the back and attempted to rape me. luckily another friend came out and he stopped so nothing that serious happened.

  18. amira says:

    this is helping and inspiring because it is encouraging women to share there experience of sexual assault an “post me to” on there own pages and it really makes me sad to see that so many people have been sexually assaulted or harassed.

  19. Jessica says:

    This blog was made for the many women that has been assulted or harassed to stand up. i my opinion i think many more people should know about ME TOO. This is a very intresting blog for people the learn more about #METOO.

  20. Manuel vazquez and Omar nunez says:

    Manuel Vazquez Omar Nunez- This blog helps thousands of women that has been victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence and/or abuse. This helps them stand up and stop more incidents from happening.

  21. Elize Valdez, Sofia Perez says:

    Elize Valdez, Sofia Perez- This is a good idea because they are sharing their stories and can get advice from other people. Another reason why this is a got idea is that they can also seek help from other people.

  22. Emely says:

    Emely Vazquez- I think its amazing how women shared their stories that have been hidden for a long time, probably even years. I think the “Me too” movement really helped women to speak up and helped them notice that they are not alone. These women are very strong because they faught sexual harassment by standing on each other’s side.

  23. Elizabeth Sanchez Navarro says:

    Elizabeth Sanchez – It is impressive how #MeToo encourage women to tell their story about sexual harassment. It really is a great movement so other women don’t feel alone and know that they are not the only ones.

  24. maria says:

    Maria Granados- this blog made lots of women that felt alone to fell loved and that they are not alone. this is a very good blog because it didn’t just help those women but it also encourage them to not give up and to not hide. this women had help and they finally felt free

  25. Omar says:

    Omar Vicente – I think that this blog helped women that were victims of sexual assault or harassment to help each other and stand up for each other. I feel that this issue and blog should get more attention because it is just unnecessary and sad to see women go through a horrible experience.

  26. david saldivar says:

    David—I think the movement #METOO helps the woman tell their personal story to the world and make people be aware of what is going on. It also helps the woman feel the relief of telling people what they went through and not telling anybody about it.

  27. Alexia C. Alvarez says:

    This demonstrates that women worldwide are being sexually harmed by men. This virtual campaign originally started by a strong woman who got the guts to share with the world what she had been through. By this woman doing this it started an internet phenomenon in which has given women the support to share their experience and a way of support towards women who have been through the same thing.

  28. Cristina Paredes says:

    Sexual harassment has been a problem since years ago. women are afraid to speak up however thanks to this movement there is hope for all the victims of sexual abuse or harassment. This is a amazing project that is brings light to those that are in darkness.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Melissa Castaneda, Elizabeth Hernandez: This vlog helped my partner and i to know and be more aware about the situation of a lot of people being sexually abused. This vlog also helped us understand to share our thought to others because if we do other people will feel a little bit more comfortable sharing there problems. Overall this vlog was helpful and a warning for us to be more careful and aware.

  30. John says:

    Judyann Bibian and John Figueroa- In our opinion, making a movement for women is great because it can help women that get sexually assaulted and the ME TOO movement is a great way to encourage women to speak up to help prevent more women from getting sexually assaulted/harassed.

  31. America Bautista says:

    America Bautista — This was an amazing way to get women to speak about and share their stories about being sexually assaulted. It let other women know that they’re not alone in when it comes to them being raped or assaulted. This movement made people realize how big of a problem this is to women in all parts of the world.

  32. JANNYA MARTINEZ MEDINA says:

    Jannya Martinez- The blog is very intresting because the community of #METOO has help women that are been sexually harassed but most in the United States in every 98 seconds women are been sexually harrased in the outside world.

  33. Melannie says:

    Melannie Garcia and Eduardo Peraza – We think the #metoo movement was a good idea because it helped women show their strength and it makes them feel more powerful. The #metoo blog helped women who have been assaulted feel more confident.

  34. Juan says:

    Juan Ramirez- Overall throughout what I read women have been sexually harassed and assaulted. A women name Alissa Milano started publishing “ME TOO” on social media later on women sharing how they got sexually harassed.

  35. Luis Gonzalez says:

    Luis Gonzalez-I think the blog should be more publicly out there because it really may inspire more women to come out about their experiences with sexual assault, which can hopefully help eventually put a stop to sexual assault.

  36. Emiliano Rodriguez says:

    Emiliano Rodriguez- I think is right i am kind of conservative (a lot) but i think this a good way to address the problem and get a impact to make a difference, because the people how rape can’t have impunity and is a good way to let go that event and have support.

  37. angel says:

    What I found interesting about the blog is how such a little campaign became into such a huge movement that very quickly started to raise awareness about such an issue.

  38. Ignacio says:

    This blog is very informative about the ME TOO movement and i like the message that this movement brings and how many women have told their stories. This is a informative blog and i would recommend a read.

  39. Angel says:

    Paola Ramirez & Angel Morales- We think it was a nice idea to create the “#MeToo” thingy, it might spread through the world and lots of people will help too

  40. Leonardo Baeza says:

    Leonardo baeza-
    This blog was very helpful on identifying what is happening around the world, specially What is happening whit sexual asult

  41. Anonymous says:

    I understand you are trying to raise awareness for a subject that does need to be looked at, but I wouldn’t want to be force to see this #metoo and believe everything about it, what you guys are doing by forcing people into this conservation, are gonna make people see the opportunity to take advantage of this and can give themselves publicity or attention for no reason, but I’m not trying to say that this is true, I just don’t want to be force to believe everything about the movement

  42. anthony says:

    I’m glad that the ”me-too” exists because can tell people about their experience with sexual assault and bring more awareness about this serious problem

  43. Lenai says:

    Lenai- The ‘Me too’ movement is a great way for those who have been assaulted to find people who have been through the same thing.

  44. Estrella Vega says:

    I think this article it’s really helpful for people who need help people and give awareness about a really important topic.

  45. Jurian says:

    I think the “#Metoo” movement is a good way to spread awareness about women being sexually harassed. This is a real-life problem that happens to many people on a daily bases and I think its good that this movement is on social media, something that a lot of people go on and see. Hopefully, more people will see that we need to act on this fast and try to decrease this problem.

  46. EMMANUEL RAMIREZ says:

    I think the “me too” movement is a good thing because it is letting people know what is happening with women around the world.

  47. america says:

    America Santos- I was really happy to read this article because it made me think it’s perfectly fine to speak up about the sexual-assault girls have been through. The #metoo is a great way for girls to come out and speak about what happened to them.

  48. Nadia Jimenez says:

    Nadia Jimenez- Reading this article was truly eye-opening and made me more aware of how big this problem really is. It is truly inspiring how survivors and supporters are coming together to raise awareness. Hearing about these awful experiences makes me want to be part of the change.

  49. MANUEL GARCIA-BARRAZA says:

    The #metoo hashtag not only raises awareness about women abuse worldwide, but actually shows massive evidence about it. This shows the abuse is real and i’ts not a game, it should not be ignored but rather addressed in all sorts of media possible. It seems surreal that this still happens in the 21th century.

  50. Bella says:

    I think this article helps women stand up to sexual harassment and it’s very sad that in the U.S someone is getting harassed every 98 seconds, can you imagine how many people are getting harassed in the world every 10 seconds?? It isn’t right.

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