What is the “Me too” campaign?
“Me too” went viral on Sunday, after the actress Alyssa Milano tweeted that victims of sexual harassment and assault should use the phrase to come forward with their stories.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 16, 2017
For over a week now social media pages are filled with brave posts from women across the globe all using the same hashtag ‘Me too’ in attempt to start a discussion on how common sexual assaults are today. Every woman has experienced some form of sexual assault. That is why since the dawn of time mothers have been warning their daughters to be modest and careful. Why? Become many men consider a female’s body disposable.
Me too – a tool to give women voice
The social campaign is one of many in the recent times used to creates awareness about sexual assaults that women experience. Even though the hashtag became wildly popular and is created with the right intentions, some people argue that it actually does less good than it intends. ‘Me too’ is a helpful tool for women to find their voice and unite, however it might provide little help in improving the way our patriarchal society works.
The problem with the “Me too” campaign?
Sexual assaults occur every single day and people are aware of it. That includes men too and more than understanding that every woman has been demeaned in her life by a male, the men need to acknowledge that these women are victims. It might be argued that men understand that already, but history has proof of countless time when men have silenced a woman or did not believe her story. Victim-blaming has been very largely created by men. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident, but nonetheless the harm is done. Guys are rarely told to fix their own predatory behavior. Conversations of sexual harassment and assault are always framed as a “women’s issue.”
What can you do to help?
In the US alone criminal cases like sexual assault and rape often do not get the recognition they demand in court. Very often sexual offenders are announced not guilty in trials or serve only a few months in prisons. In Russia a new law has been passed that makes domestic violence legal. One can only imagine the horrible atrocities towards women that occur in the third world countries. That is why the next time when your friend complains that a stranger either told her to smile or grabbed her butt without consent, do not laugh it off as something unimportant, but instead take it seriously and provide her the support she needs. Women are violated and harassed by men most of their lives and to add salt to the wound, they often have to explain to men why their behavior is problematic, while men do not even talk amongst themselves how to fix the problem of sexism.