Following the Weinstein scandal earlier this week, a few daring women in Hollywood took to social media to confess their stories of sexual abuse. And soon after, the hashtag #metoo took the internet by storm, encouraging women from all walks of life to come forward with their stories.
The Me Too campaign has actually been around for a long time. Long before hashtags were a popular thing, in 2007, Tarana Burke started the Me Too campaign as a way to connect with survivors of sexual abuse from unprivileged communities.
The purpose of this incarnation of Me Too, #metoo, was to demonstrate just how prevalent sexual harassment and assault are. As social media became flooded with #metoo, it became clear that almost every woman, if not literally every woman, has experienced some sort of sexual abuse.
Telling the world about sexual abuse can feel humiliating and super vulnerable, so coming forward isn’t as easy as it looks. Hopefully the #metoo campaign will normalize discussion of sexual abuse, help people see that this is more common than we think, and help victims of abuse get the relief and support they need.
But this is just the beginning of the revolution that will put the perpetrator in their rightful place.
The Tempest gathered some of the most impactful #metoo tweets, and this is what we learned.
1. Choosing to tell your story is empowering, not shameful. Let’s get that straight.
#MeToo , I was 14, he was a stranger , I was babysitting,I didn't lock the door..he walked in..I was overpowered..
I am not ashamed
— drixy (@drix78) October 17, 2017
2. The more we embrace that this happens all the time, the higher are the chances of reducing such encounters.
If all women who have been sexually harassed/assaulted wrote "Me too" we might get a sense of the magnitude of the problem.#MeToo
— ❄️Turner❄️💪🏼🇺🇸 (@TamiSFGiantFan) October 17, 2017
3. It doesn’t happen just to women. That’s a common misconception.
#metoo // Sexual violence doesn’t just happen to women, and it doesn’t just happen to cisgender people. It can happen to anybody. Speak up.
— ben (@cl0ud_b0y) October 17, 2017
4. It’s starting important conversations.
I’m terrified of saying this aloud. But this movement is more important than my fear. #MeToo
— Leila🐱 (@LoveaLeila) October 17, 2017
5. Victims of sexual violence are getting the support they need.
Why is #MeToo gendered?
It's important to see everyone's stories.
Nobody is immune.
Please talk about it.
Don't feel silenced by gender. pic.twitter.com/PcHGrk9GhF
— Got Malkeficent? (@Malkarii_) October 17, 2017
6. It’s time we stop blaming the victim for “instigating” the perp.
#MeToo bc when I was 8 one of my family members raped me until I was almost 11. don't tell me it's what I was wearing.
— Julia Dalzell (@julia_dalzell) October 17, 2017
7. It’s so easy to think that it’s all in your head.
— hybrid theory (@mitaliminigupta) October 17, 2017
8. Deciding not to share your story doesn’t make you weak. It’s your choice.
For every survivor who writes #MeToo, another chooses not to disclose. The decision to share your story is yours alone. We support you.
— Joyful Heart (@TheJHF) October 17, 2017
9. No means no. Not maybe, not later, not ever.
When a girl says no it means no. Don't harass, terrorize her & make her feel guilty about saying no because you can't take rejection #MeToo
— Little Red (@e_weingart) October 17, 2017
10. Some might choose to ignore the movement, but at least the suppressed have a platform now.
I'm not sure what's sadder about the #MeToo movement…the fact that so many people have been victims…or that so many are ignoring it.
— Bryan Marler (@bryanjmarler) October 17, 2017
11. Give your loved ones the support they need.
If you think you're lucky that your wife, sisters, daughters, even sons haven't been a victim..
Today is the day to ask them
— The Sheonix (@TheSheonix) October 17, 2017
12. What’s surprising is that this is overdue for several decades now.
It really hurts my heart that women have to post their #metoo story for us to grasp the gravity of rape culture.
— Erin Caldarera (@erin_caldarera) October 17, 2017
13. Don’t brush it off just because you haven’t experienced it.
Just because something hasn't directly affected you, that doesn't mean it isn't still a problem! #MeToo
— B (@mybrainblogs) October 17, 2017
14. It’s time we accepted that this is more common than we think.
— Hilary Allen (@hilaryhomes) October 17, 2017
15. Knowing that the encounter was of sexual nature begins with the right education.
We gotta admit at some point we all have been harrassed and choose to ignore it or were to shock to realise what happened.
— Ayesha Mehar (@theayeshamehar) October 17, 2017
16. Sexual assault isn’t just rape culture. It’s an unwanted act that makes the victim feel vulnerable and exposed.
7yo: raped by 13yo
10yo: assaulted in swimming pool
12yo: man in bus showed himself
Need I go on?
Time to speak up!
— Lenneke Muller (@LennekeMuller) October 17, 2017
17. It happens in the workplace too.
#metoo is heating sexual things a 43 year old coworker said about you “there’s no way those tits are 16”. it took 2 yrs for him to be fired
— 🍁Bre🍁 (@bre_harrigan) October 17, 2017
18. For some, these experiences have made them stronger than ever.
Its hard to think of who I'd be today if things had been different, but now my voice matters more than ever in the fight.
— Here's Johnny 🔪🎃 (@JJardee) October 17, 2017
19. Don’t let this experience define you. Take this and show them that you’re undeterred.
And it will not stop me living my life how I want. It doesn't define who I am and I won't let it. ❤️ Don't let them win.🖕
— Cherice Craft (@chericecraft) October 17, 2017
20. Don’t apologise for being the victim.
— mic (@mferraro2002) October 17, 2017