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#MeToo


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“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

This tweet by Alyssa Milano triggered a whole barrage of women (and men) to start posting statuses and tweets about their personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

It all started with a post that read: Me too. Suggested by a friend: “If all 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.”

In the last 24 hours, the hashtag #MeToo has taken social media by storm. Thousands of people have been describing their experiences, while others have been giving silent support.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In most cases of sexual harassment, the victims are blamed and are told to keep it under wraps. Most of them end up feeling like they cannot talk about it to anyone lest they be judged for it.

It is just so easy to not acknowledge these assaults, especially if the person causing them is in a position of power, not unlike Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer whose expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, over the weekend, incited this whole movement.

The fact that popular people in mainstream media have been responding to it makes the whole concept more real in some way – When people who according to us, are in glamorous roles and living content lives are facing it, it makes us realize that sexual assault is a lot more commonplace than it is believed to be.

While I love what the hashtag stands for, people do have to realize that even through the mask of social media and or anonymity, most others do not want to express their suffering and broadcast it to the world.

This is a much needed wake-up call to the society, but with all the MeToo-ing, comes an important part of analyzing the response of the masses – distinguishing between real sexual assault, as stated in the original article, or casual (or not so casual) sexism.

Some people are of the opinion that this twitter hashtag might just be the kick our society needs to wake up and speak up against these things. But we still have a long way to go.


Maybe by starting to normalize sexuality in women, going backwards in our social constructs and teaching ourselves the basics of respect, boundaries and principles of acceptable behavior might help.

While this phenomenon might be something that either causes a large shift in the general perception of sexual assault as being commonplace and not okay, or become one of those hashtags that gains popularity for a few days and fizzles out, either way, #MeToo.

 

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#MeToo