#MeToo And What It Means For Women

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The #MeToo campaign has swept the world, after sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood movie Producer Harvey Weinstein were made public in October 2017. Since this time, millions of women across the world have come forward to speak about sexual assault and harassment using the hashtag #MeToo on Social Media.

In Australia news reader Tracey Spicer has taken the lead threatening to reveal the names of Australian entertainment entities who have allegedly behaved inappropriately. Television identity Don Burke has been ‘outed’ as a serial abuser with claims made by former employees and co-workers.

WHERE DID “ME TOO” ORIGINATE?

Social activist Tarana Burke coined the phrase “Me Too” in 2006, after making a documentary movie entitled ‘Me Too’ about marginalised black communities who had experienced sexual abuse. The aim of the hashtag was to encourage ”empowerment through empathy”.

HOW DID THE HASHTAG BECOME VIRAL?

The hashtag, popularised by actress Alyssa Milano from ‘Who’s the Boss’ fame, who encouraged women to tweet their experiences to publicise experiences of sexual assault. Rose McGowan has also been highly vocal against Weinstein and other prominent figures in the Hollywood community. Since then, millions of people have used the hashtag to come forward to discuss inappropriate or illegal behaviour in the hands of men.

‘Some men, such as actors Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek, have responded to the hashtag with their own experiences of harassment and abuse, while others have reacted by acknowledging past behaviours against women, spawning the hashtag “HowIWillChange.” ‘

TIME AND THE ‘SILENCE BREAKERS’

The ‘Guardian’ has described the #Me Too campaign as a ‘true reckoning’ in an article co-authored by Milano and Burke, written on the 21st December 2017.

Time named the ‘person of the year’ on the cover if it’s magazine as the ‘Silence Breakers.’ The ‘Silence Breakers’ included actress Ashley Judd who has been vocal against Weinstein and the silence in Hollywood around sexual harassment and abuse. The Time cover featured those women who have come forward in the #MeToo campaign and heralded the movement, as the most significant of 2017.

HAS THE CAMPAIGN GONE TOO FAR?

Not all women have been supportive of the movement. In an article with New Idea, prominent news figure Jana Wendt described the #MeToo movement as a ‘lynching’. Which begs the question has the campaign gone too far?
Burke, Tarana and Milano, Alyssa. We created the metoo movement now its time for her too. The Guardian. 2017. Accessed. December 22, 2017.

Me Too (hashtag). (2017, December 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:09, December 23, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Me_Too_(hashtag)&oldid=816637700
Zacharek, Stephanie, Dockterman, Eliana and Sweetland Edwards, Haley. Time Person of the year 2017 – Silence Breakers. Time Magazine. 2017. Accessed 22 December 2017.