Photo Courtesy of AP Images
BY ALEXIA MERSOLA
Ever since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced, “Me too” became the rally cry. Women and men have used these words to share their personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.
The hashtag caught fire over the last weekend as actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a rally to all victims, “so we might give people a sense of magnitude of the problem.” Most Americans aren’t aware of how many women and men get sexually harassed everyday. This subject is seen as a taboo at times because of the violence and emotions involved in the situation.
The “Me too” Campaign didn’t start with Milano alone, in fact, it was started over 10 years ago by activist Tarana Burke. Burke is the program director for Brooklyn based Girls for Gender Equity, its goal: To empower young women of color. But the seeds for this movement were planted even before then starting as far back as 1966, which was a primitive time in both men and women of color or not, to fight for their rights. That was the original point of the whole movement itself– to help young women of color who survived sexual abuse, assault and exploitation.
“The movement has taken a life of its own”, according to Burke. On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that “I am not ashamed.” and “I am not alone.” On the other side, its a statement from survivor to survivor that says, “I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it.” This has been shown by the responses to these brave sexual assault victims who dare to make their once “dark secret” known. Responses range in variety from mostly from men, “#IHearYou, #HowIWillChange” are just some of the many response to this unifying trend, all are acknowledging that they hear these victims and are there to support them and some, willing to change.
Sexual assault in this country has been made into almost a “social norm” for most people. We grin and bear it, acknowledging that it does happen in the back of our minds, not doing much about the issue. “Me too” movement, brings victims together in order to conquer this problem, bringing it into the light so that change can hopefully occur. #Metoo.