What is ‘Me too’ movement?
- ‘Me too’ is a phrase used for social awareness of sexual assault or harassment. This phrase was first used by Tarana Burke in 2006. She is a Social activist and Community Organizer. The main purpose of this phase was to confront the unspoken voice of women against sexual harassment.
- ‘#Me too’ Campaign, we can understand as a movement to break silence refers to man or woman who came forward to say their part of getting abuse, assault, or harassment.
- “When one person says, ‘Yeah me too’, it permits others to open up.” – Tarana Burke. This was an idea of empowerment through Empathy. Just to create to ensure the survivors that they are not alone.
- Alyssa Milano, American actress tweeted his phrase with the hashtag(#) on 15th Oct 2017, this one tweet of Hollywood actress who requested victims of sexual assault to speak out became a global phenomenon. She wrote: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted writes ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet”. After that tweet re-gathered the fame as it was used more than 200,000 times by the end of the day and tweeted more than 500,000 times within 24 hours.
- In India, it started when Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta made a serious allegation against Nana Patekar, around Oct 2018. And she stated that she quit her career because of this incident that happened 10 years ago with her, while she was shooting for movie Horn ok! Please.
- MJ Akbar editor turned politician, union minister of state for external affairs in Oct 2018 also became the most high profile person to resign from his post after multiple women journalists had accused him of sexual misconduct. And several other women came out and named several sexual abusers among celebrities. Well-known people like Alok Nath, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai, Chetan Bhagat, etc came in front of the public.
Positive impact of Me too movement :
- Many women who faced or facing sexual abuse coming in front and breaking their silence and speak up. This movement empowered the women to form a community through which they help each other talking and taking a stand for bitter truths of abuse, assort, and harassment all over the world. It helps victims to stand on their own again in society.
- This campaign is for everyone rather than any particular gender. Not only women, but a few men also shared their sexual abuse experiences. This movement also became very important to aware of the society that men can also be victims of abuse.
- In society, many cultures, discouraged from speaking up against sexual harassment. In India, the situation is worse, but this movement improved this situation. Now no victim has to be labeled or quite throughout their life for sexual harassment. They are encouraged to speak up.
- This movement makes an impact on those people who have power, now they have to think twice before miss-using their power. Many victims were silenced before as abusers are in power. As an impact, lots of ‘me too’ statements came from the past that happened and there was no way to express or share that time.
- A website www.metoomvmt.org for victims, survivors, and advocates working for support against sexual violence. Google has created a dedicated website. MeTooRising and the #MeToo map to measure the campaign. ‘National commission for women (NCM)’ dedicated a separate email id – firstname.lastname@example.org. Social media came out as a great source to share various harassment stories all over the world rapidly. On Facebook, the hashtag was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts.
Negative impact of Me too movement :
- Me too movement is misused also as a false allegation on anyone claiming anyone wrong and acting like a victim. A woman/man can play a sympathy card and accuse anyone that can destroy his/her whole life without any evidence of accusation.
- These are limitations to freedom of speech. People are not just making baseless allegations on anyone and are not proceeding legally. Just sharing on social media and then doing nothing, this will degrade their public reputation. With this now everyone is at threat of being framed as a sexual Abuser. No one will dare to fire a woman from work if she is not performing her job well because of the fear of the ‘me too’ phase and defaming the company and his/her name.
- This ‘me too’ movement is generally known by personalities. Still, common people are silent and are scared of victim shaming. These cases will undergo trial in court for years. Indian courts are overburdened. And still some victims got blaming from people of society and questioning for their choice of dress, work, silence, etc
- This ‘me too’ movement includes male sexual assault and harassment too. But society plays discrimination towards one gender.
- The #MeToo campaign is for everyone despite gender, post, etc. This movement helps to speak out loud about assault and harassment stories to people. This encourages victims to live a normal life after healing from the past. This movement uses social media platforms that help across the world against sexual harassment. It’s a positive approach to change thinking of society with new-age thinking.
- Mental health is the key factor that works from this movement. It taught people that it’s not their fault, there is no shaming offended. It’s a big step for society to give equal space and respect to all genders despite the cast, color, power, etc.