The #MeToo movement exposed the myths around assault. What happens with Brett Kavanaugh will show if anything has really changed.
The origins of #MeToo can be dated back before the predominance of social media, when activist Tarana Burke created the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities.
I’m disturbed because so many people KNEW what he was doing. They knew and they turned a blind eye which allowed Harvey to continue to demean, degrade, and damage so many women for so many decades.
How could I have been so stupid?
I was amazed by the #MeToo outpouring by women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. So many women I know have been victims, and yet, I marveled, I had spent my career in charmed workplaces where such things didn’t happen.
But this week I learned that, earlier in my career, I worked in a place that was the very definition of a hostile work environment
The fallout of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal included the #MeToo hashtag that cropped up on social media, originated by activist Tarana Burke 10 years ago, then re-sparked by actress Alyssa Milano. Women (and some men) came out to share stories of sexual abuse, harassment and impropriety, some long-buried, some told often. It germinated as a Hollywood campaign, but quickly spread to every industry.
The current public litigation around sexual misconduct has been exhausting and grueling, especially for survivors. But there’s a way forward.
For perhaps the first time in history, powerful men are falling, like dominos, and vulnerable women are being believed.
“Women can turn the whole internet into a list of “Me toos,” but it won’t make a difference until men ― all men ― acknowledge how they perpetuate misogyny and commit to making a change.
There is strength in solidarity, but I couldn't help feeling some despair as the hashtag took off.
In 1997, Tarana Burke sat across from a 13-year-old girl who had been sexually abused. The young girl was explaining her experience, and it left Ms. Burke speechless. That moment is where the Me Too campaign was born.
Did you see the #metoo hashtag? Or see the “Me, too” status updates? Maybe you watched in horror, surprised at how universal the problem is. Maybe you added a #metoo, and could name 100 women in your life who could add one as well. Maybe you had a #metoo to add, but didn’t feel safe enough to post it.
Listen to us when we share. Don’t let us bear the burden of shame. Don’t let us think it is our fault.
It doesn’t matter how long ago these things happened. This moment is no longer a hashtag; it’s the lancing of an infected wound. What’s happening isn’t slowing down; if anything, it’s accelerating.
The power of #MeToo, though, is that it takes something that women had long kept quiet about and transforms it into a movement.