#MeToo Campaign Giving Women a Platform

By John Billotti 10/18/17

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Women across the country have used social media to share their experiences and stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Women have taken to social media to share their experiences with sexual assault following a string of allegations against Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein. The movement gained traction when actress Alyssa Milano, whose friend and coworker Rose McGowan accused Weinstein of rape, tweeted asking all women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed to respond to the tweet with “#MeToo.”

The trend took off almost immediately, gaining over 60,000 replies in just two days. America Ferrera, Reese Witherspoon, and Debra Messing are just a few notable women who shared their experiences under the hashtag.

When asked about the movement by Buzzfeed News, Milano told Buzzfeed the response was “staggering.” She went on to explain that she sees the hashtag as a “powerful way to raise awareness of how prevalent sexual assault is and to shine a light on the cultural epidemic.”

The trend has received criticism from a number of feminist and civil rights activists. Some people argue that although the movement is well-intentioned, it still places responsibility on the victims of sexual assault rather than the perpetrators. Others criticize the whitewashing of a movement that actually began ten years ago as a way for young women of color to bond over shared their experiences.