Rebirth of a movement

The historical impact of the #MeToo movement and how its gaining prevalence again


Jayla Cromwell, Staff member

The character of women has changed for the better for women and their place in society. But one thing is that women have always been strong. The #MeToo movement has proved that for women in so many ways. Once long ago women were viewed as objects to please the man and his environment. This movement has changed that. This movement is a crossroad for women in society today. It shows women today that you shouldnt be afraid to speak up, that your story is no burden on anyone. If anything your story is an opening for another woman. It’s not a story people want to say, to be honest it’s a story no one asked to be apart of. But look at the impact it has had on so many women around the world. Its helping women just like you and me.

The #MeToo movement was started by Tarana Burke to address sexual assault in underprivileged communities of color in 2006. When Burke started it it was just a phrase, not a hashtag. The uproar of this phrase started in 2017 after the sexual abuse allegations against former movie producer Harvey Winstein. After the series of allegations in Hollywood, the infamous hashtag #MeToo was created. The hashtag started to open up conversation about sexual harassment and abuse.

This movement is of great importance because it shines light on what happens in real life. It doesn’t paint an imaginary picture of life for women and men that go through the horrible events of sexual harassment and assault. Before the #MeToo movement it was seen that the “victim” was to be blamed and not the offender. It doesn’t paint a perfect picture like everyone wants to see. There is no perfect picture and there is no “same story” everyone’s story is different, one person may have been able to get up and go to school the next day while the other couldn’t get up out of bed. No one has the same story. Don’t believe that everyone has the same story.

These survivors of sexual harassment and assault have felt like they needed to stay quiet about what has happened to them before this movement. These survivors were left to feel the guilt and shame of what happened to them. This movement makes sure women and men know they don’t have to keep silent nor feel guilty. No one should ever feel guilty, especially after something horrific like rape or continuous sexual assualt. You speak up for yourself and for making a change in this society. That is one of the best things someone could do.

The movement encourages women and men in many ways including remembering their worth and who they are as a person. Also recognizing that what happened to you does not have to define you nor your character. Knowing that you are a human being worthy of more than a label that you didn’t ask for. A label that was put on you not by choice, but by selfish behavior from another individual. Remembering your story is important. This is what this movement wants their supporters to know. When you look at the hashtag #MeToo don’t look at it as just a hashtag, look at it as a change in society, look at it as empowerment for all.

The impact that the hashtag #MeToo has been a great one. It’s been almost two years since this hashtag started and so many events have occurred. One major one is that the first international #MeToo conference was held in Iceland in September. This conference was held by Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir. The conference was an epic on because the intention of it was to bring awareness to international in-depth conversation about the future impact and also overall impact of the #MeToo movement.

It is a terrific and a huge milestone for the #MeToo movement going international and holding conferences. The fact that more women and men are getting involved with the #MeToo movement creates a sense of “oh yeah, they’re foreal about this!” Holding the conferences puts more opinions and more thoughts into the #MeToo movement going forward.

In an interview with The Guardian Jakobsdóttir added about the movement that we owe it to all women who couldn’t speak up before and also to those of future generations to create policies that push for more change.

Like many movements, they stand for change. When you stand with a movement its because you are passionate about it, not because it’s the movement everyone talks about. I stand with this movement in support of making sexul assault and harrasment a thing in the history books, not something we continue to have to fight for. In a world full of history makers and things coming to an end, I just know that we can add this to the list.

To the future generations; this movement stands and fights for you. This movement brings on changes for you. From work based harassment being punishable to making sexual assault and harassment a thing of the past, better yet history that doesn’t have to be repeated. This is not just something that happens over night and most people know that. And for the ones who don’t know it, let this movement educate them.

Many people don’t know that men are also involved in the #MeToo movement. Although the movement seems to be more centered around women it has had its impact on men too. With men being apart of this movement it helps lift everyone up to tell their story, knowing that both men and women can be sexually assaulted or harassed. Also it gives hope that more men will speak up and tell their story or even confront their perpetrators. Hopefully more men speaking out with the #MeToo movement will give more men the strength to talk about their struggles with sexual assault and harassment.

The men and women who advocate for the #MeToo movement are also important to the growth of the movement. Advocacy can be one of the greatest things for a movement.

Even if it hasn’t personally happened to you, if your passionate enough about it you can make a difference. Keep on advocating, its may not be making the biggest change but it’s making a change for someone and that is what matters.

Find a trusted person in your life to speak out to. As some people say “this too shall pass”. This is not your burden and it is not your guilt to carry. Talk to somebody and speak out. Be apart of #MeToo, advocacy or speaking out about your story. You are not alone and your story is so important.