After the Hollywood-shaking accusations that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has raped, assaulted, and coerced dozens of women into unwanted sexual situations, the #MeToo has become a rallying cry and a beacon for extra-judicial justice, providing women with confidence and comfort around a topic that has been left undiscussed far too long. And now, it has become a bona fide movement with far-reaching ramifications.
Twitter has confirmed that over 1.7 million tweets contain the #MeToo, and that 85 different countries have had the hashtag occur at least 1,000 times. Facebook has seem similarly explosive results, with over 12 million posts, likes, and comments around the subject within the first 24 hours of the hashtag's onset last week.
With #MeToo's proliferation, women are stepping forward in solidarity, often sharing painful and personal stories, in order to foment dialogue around the normalization of sexual assault, and men leveraging their positions of power to coerce unwanted advances. The hashtag has swept the celebrity world, being launched by Alyssa Milano, and seeing notable contributions from Gabrielle Union, actress Rose McGowan, and countless others.
The phrase "Me Too" was coined by black female activist Tarana Burke in 2007, who tells Ebony she wanted it to let young women of color who survive sexual assault know that "they are not alone," and that "radical healing is possible."
Ten years later, #MeToo's social media life has taken on unimaginable scale, giving voice to previously voiceless victims, and bringing many other allegations to light.
For more, please check the hashtag #MeToo on literally any social media platform. The light's shining now. What we're seeing isn't pretty, but we hope that it's chasing away the shadow monsters.