What You Need to Know About the #MeToo Movement
We're sure you've seen the hashtag 'MeToo' all over social media in the last week. This is everything you need to know about the movement, and what we should take away from this.
Hollywood Celebrities are speaking out against sexual assault with the #MeToo Movement. But there's two big things about this movement you should know: Number one, this movement didn't just start last week, it's actually been around for more than 10 years, and number two, even though celebrities are bringing attention to this movement, it's not just about the whole Harvey Weinstein allegations. It's about EVERYONE who has been a victim of sexual assault.
Who Started the Movement?
Although, Alyssa Milano has brought a huge response to #MeToo, she's not the original person behind the idea. According to Yahoo News, Tarana Burke first came up with the "me too Movement" in 2006 to bring awareness to sexual assault "in underprivileged communities of color." BUT Milano's tweet has reached so many people and has made made this movement even bigger than before, and to include anyone who has been a victim.
Yes, the #MeToo movement has been focused around what's happening in Hollywood right now, but that's only one branch of it. By bringing this to social media, and on all platforms (from Instagram to Twitter, to Facebook and everything in between), anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault can now stand with others and say "me too." It's bringing more light on a serious issue, not only in our country, but across the world. So who's involved? Everyone. Anyone. Those who want to show how common sexual assault is, can come forward. Those who do not want to, can see they're not alone.
What We Should Take Away From #MeToo
Look at all the tweets, posts, and photos with the hashtag "MeToo." Look at all the people showing they have been affected by sexual assault. There's a lot. And it doesn't discriminate. No matter the gender, race, religion, or anything, sexual assault happens to too many people. With everyone coming forward, we should start asking "What do we do about this?" not, "How often or who is a victim?" Even though this movement is shining light on a terrible issue, it's only the beginning.
The Sad Fact
The sad fact is that sexual assault happens more than we want to realize. Even looking at all the tweets, photos, and such only show the people who are comfortable coming forward (and don't get us wrong, we're SO glad they're speaking up). There are so, so many others who will not come forward. And we don't blame them. Sexual assault is a very twisted, mind-numbing, uncomfortable, situation that for a lot of people, it's hard to even think about what happened. It's not just the idea of being considered a "victim," but there's repression involved. There's the "what ifs," and the swirling thoughts and confusion that make you question everything. It's a lot to try and process what happened, and sometimes you just can't. Some feel guilty, other shameful. And for some, the easiest way to deal is to lock it in a closet and pretend it never happened. But for those on the edge, those who feel they need to get it out or at least get it out of their head, they can see they're not alone. They can reach out for help. They can do what they need to, to get that peace of mind back.
If you've been a victim of sexual assault and would like to speak to someone, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at: 800-656-HOPE.