We've seen an unreal amount of #MeToo tweets over the past few months and then many Time's Up buttons at the Golden Globes. Not to mention, this weekend at the second Women's March, women from all over the world carried signs that spoke of their own experiences with sexual violence. Because of the way social media works, it is impossible to ignore the #MeToo Movement today. We cannot pretend that sexual assault is not an epidemic in our world right now. It seems that every day we hear of another sexual assault victim, another person in a place of power abusing that position. Women (and men) around the world are being wildly brave and coming forward with their personal stories of sexual assault or harassment.
The movement was originally started 10 years ago by Tarana Burke with hopes to bring together victims of sexual violence. Recently, it was reintroduced by Alyssa Milano on Twitter and has since continued to grow on social media. With all the new public allegations against prominent people in various industries, it makes it impossible to ignore a movement that was previously very internal to the victims. It can be alarming to many to see the amount of women who are responding on Twitter or Facebook and saying #MeToo. However, the amount of women who have experienced various forms of sexual misconduct is not really shocking to most women. It is saddening and it is awful, but we have all known for a while that this was the reality of the patriarchal world we live in. The difference now is just that people are gaining the courage to share their stories due to the increase in publicity for the subject.
Many people have claimed that this is a wide attack on men - that women are trying to get men out of the workplace. I heard one accusation that these men are getting in trouble for simply "being men." Why is it impossible to be a man without touching women without their consent? Why is it not necessary for men who do this to have consequences? People are being hurt, and some peoples' immediate concerns are the well-beings of men committing sexual assaults.
This is not a feminist movement or a political statement. This is about the reality of our society. It's dangerous and it's unfair. Before, it was accepted that sexual assaults occurred, but mainly in the bar scene or on college campuses. It is troublesome to hear that this is happening in workplaces - places where relationships are meant to be professional or, at the very least, appropriate.