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Why the #MeToo Movement is so Valuable

Liz Sloane, Staff Writer

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Believe it or not, the viral ‘Me Too’ movement did not begin with the accusations against Harvey Weinstein. The movement was started over ten years ago by activist Tarana Burke in order to help young women of color in low income areas who had experienced harassment, assault, or abuse.

The movement went viral when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out encouraging anyone who had been harassed or assaulted to reply, “me too” and , “ give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

Indeed, it has.

With the sheer number of people who have responded, it is impossible to deny that this is an enormous problem. It is doubtful that any person with social media has been unaffected by the movement. It is forcing conversation. People who did not realize how prevalent this is now see how many of their friends or acquaintances have been personally affected. Anyone who still tries to argue with this fact is failing to face reality.

Not only has it increased awareness, but this movement has given survivors a great deal of closure and a sense that they are not alone. In many cases, this may have been the first time the person has come forward and told others that they were harassed or assaulted. Instead of being faced with accusations that they are lying, or questioned about what they were wearing, we have seen so much support for anyone who has joined the movement. “She asked for it” has often been used to personally attack individuals who have been assaulted. The ‘Me Too’ has discredited this hostile dismissal of abuse. The ‘Me Too’ movement has given survivors the strength to know that people believe them and support them.

The ‘Me Too’ movement has been a significant step forward in recognizing the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. We must now turn toward solutions to the problem. This involves everyone. It is up to both men and women to help protect each other and stand up for those who are being abused. Even famed movie Director Quentin Tarantino wishes that he had done more to stop what was going on. If you can do something to help someone, don’t live the rest of your life regretting your choice not to speak up or speak out. Someone’s life may depend on it. Just as this movement did not begin with Harvey Weinstein, it is important that it doesn’t end with him either.

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Why the #MeToo Movement is so Valuable