My View of #MeToo


Braden Wong, Staff Writer

Those who keep up with news may have heard of the rising “#MeToo” movement taking the likes of Twitter and Facebook by storm. Thousands of sexual assault victims have shared their narratives to spread awareness and gather their voices into harmonic concord. But ultimately, to what degree of change does this movement ultimately bring?

While the movement is an eye-opening wake-up call to the public, it’s important to first say what it is not. It is not a call to action, nor is it a rallying call for change. Instead, it is a call for awareness, and ultimately, while healthy, isn’t the great facilitator of change or final step that needs to be taken to end the issue—but the actions that follow must. Advocacy, or any means of a solution, is needed to bring efforts into fruition and change into effect; and while it may not come today, this movement is the catalyst to bring it ever closer to the perceivable future.

However, words must be chosen carefully to bring about the desired action, and it is important to understand the impact word choice could bring to the outcome of change. First, it is important to examine the original post on Twitter from Alyssa Milano, acclaimed for popularizing the movement, which read:

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

There are slight nuances in the wording that raise some important questions. Who are the people who do not have a sense of the magnitude of the problem? If women are the only ones to share their stories and spread awareness, then it appears that the people who lack sense are a separate populace: everyone except women. But is that truly accurate of what sexual assault awareness is?

If only women were to speak up on the problem, then in fact, a piece of the puzzle would be missing, and society would not truly realize “a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The issue of sexual assault extends further and to individuals who do not necessarily identify as women, including men, who, albeit are a minority in the demographic of victims, all deserve fair recognition in sharing their stories as well. However, the original post did not call for these people, and while not necessarily intentioned, effectively excluded them from the movement.

Thankfully, what has been said in words has been extended in scope in action. Thousands of victims who have shared include women, men, and otherwise, and the world is all the better in understanding the scope of sexual assault. But the movement is not only a call, but a lesson, and should serve as an important reminder of what sexual assault awareness truly calls for.

This is not a matter of gender, but justice, and all sexual assault cases deserve a fair and equitable means to justice, regardless of who has harmed and who has been hurt. However, if the problem is to be fully understood and worthy change is to be made, ultimately, there must be stories shared and ears listening from all sides. There must be an understanding that a solution requires the people, all of us, and everything in between. Perhaps this is the final boost that justice needs. Let us all push and hope for meaningful change to come soon.