Sexual Assault Survivors Break Collective Silence With Viral #MeToo Hashtag
In the wake of reports about Harvey Weinstein's alleged misconduct, victims of sexual harassment and assault are posting the two-word message
In the wake of bombshell reports revealing rampant allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, survivors of sexual harassment and assault have taken to social media with the #MeToo hashtag as a way to raise awareness about "the magnitude of the problem."
The campaign was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, whose Charmed co-star Rose McGowan is one of Weinstein's accusers. McGowan's suspension from Twitter last week provoked #WomenBoycottTwitter, and subsequent promises from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that company leaders are focused "on making some critical decisions" and have "decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them."
Many #MeToo posts included an explanation of the campaign that Milano tweeted on Sunday: "If all the 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."
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
Posters included public figures such as other actresses and politicians.
It's taken me 13 years to say #MeToo .He is still protected by 'family members' in Brazil. They've told lies to papers to try to silence me.
— Kaya Scodelario (@kScodders) October 16, 2017
Me too https://t.co/ScX67Kmmiy
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 15, 2017
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) October 15, 2017
Because I was shamed and considered a "party girl" I felt I deserved it. I shouldnt have been there, I shouldn't have been "bad" #metoo
— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) October 16, 2017
— Najwa Zebian (@najwazebian) October 16, 2017
— Amanda de Cadenet (@amandadecadenet) October 16, 2017
Some were quick to point out that those sharing their stories—or simply the "me too" message—on social media did not account for every survivor of sexual misconduct.
Reminder that if a woman didn't post #MeToo, it doesn't mean she wasn't sexually assaulted or harassed. Survivors don't owe you their story.
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) October 16, 2017
The campaign triggered expressions of solidarity, including from the Women's March account, which thanked survivors for their "bravery to speak up."
To all the women sharing stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment, thank you for your bravery to speak up. You are not alone. #MeToo
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 15, 2017
Multiple advocacy groups posted messages of support, and shared relevant statistics and links to resources.
— CenterforReproRights (@ReproRights) October 16, 2017
— Trans Equality (@TransEquality) October 16, 2017
— End Rape on Campus (@endrapeoncampus) October 16, 2017
It even spurred a response hashtag: #IWill, a public declaration that the user will participate in actions to eradicate sexual harassment and assault.
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 16, 2017
#IWill listen to and believe women, call out misogyny & bigotry when I see it, and continue to learn about being a better ally. I'll be kind
— Alex Kane (@alexjkane) October 16, 2017
— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) October 16, 2017