By Sabrina Beguiristain & Tiffany Herrera, Seniors
#MeToo Ignited in Our Generation
“I know exactly how you feel that happened to me too.” - Tarana Burke
What started as a phrase of empathy is now a hashtag consisting of two words that have resonated with girls, women, and men everywhere. When the phrase “Me Too” is mentioned in a conversation, women and silenced men might feel comfort, relatability, because it allows people a sense of community knowing that they are not alone. The #MeToo movement formed a growing community of brave individuals who compassionately protest in hope of fulfilling social and political change.
Before the #MeToo movement, our society shamed the victims of abuse, called victim-blame, that causes a sense of guilt for their abuse. This, in turn would prevent victims from reporting their abusers. With the efforts of the #MeToo movement, victims gain the courage to report those who deserve to suffer the consequences they deserve.
Resurrected in 2017 after the Harvey Weinstein accusations, Chris Snyder and Linette Lopez of the Business Insider conducted an interview with Tarana Burke to give insight into the movement. Explained in the interview, #MeToo was initiated by activist, Tarana Burke, and it went viral in 2006 on the once popular website MySpace by challenging the unconventionality of discussing sexual harassment among women. However, Burke’s initial purpose of creating #MeToo was to support African American girls and women who have experienced sexual violence.
Now with the popularity of social media, this movement has gone viral. Thus, when the hashtag began to form momentum in 2017, a diverse spectrum of individuals escaped from darkness and beamed with hope by expressing their stories of violence. Sprouted in the hands of actress, Alyssa Milano, the broken silence over the sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein was over when Milano supported victim, Rose McGowan with the hashtag of change, #MeToo. After this action, a ripple effect occurred, as many people began sharing their own stories and reported their perpetrators.
With a mind of a change-maker, Burke observed how women were bravely telling their stories in order to destroy the silence of sexual harassment that has lingered too long. The women became motivated with the goal of ending all types of sexual violence among all groups of individuals. Now #MeToo belongs to everyone.
In order to fix a problem one must identify it. The #MeToo movement does just that and more. The #MeToo movement is the first aid kit to the problem of sexual misconduct in our society. Activist Tarana Burke used her voice, which in turn caused an influential movement that has and will keep fighting against the civil issue of forms of sexual abuse.
The #MeToo movement has not only progressed to become more than a safe community of individuals speaking out, but also a game changer that could achieve gender equality for the next generation of women.
I have a childlike spirit driven by playfulness and creativity. I love bonding about music with people and perfecting my grilled cheese sandwich. With my words, I hope to befriend my audience to communicate on significant topics and excite the inner child within all of us.