Life You
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

You’ve probably seen–or been directly involved in–the ‘Me Too‘ hashtag taking over social media this week. The concept of the awareness campaign was started by black activist Tarana Burke, and was publicized most recently by actress Alyssa Milano to illustrate the magnitude of sexual assault.

The hashtag has had a huge response world-wide with women sharing stories, adding their voices or just letting each other know they are not alone. The significance of the single phrase is to allow victims of sexual assault to see each other without having to relive and disclose their stories. The simple ‘Me Too’ says a thousand words.

The movement also sparked some online criticism. As much as some women were drawing strength from the showings of solidarity, the campaign puts the onus on the victims to expose the issue, rather than on men to call out and interrogate the role they play. There is a dangerous power dynamic and complicity at play here. Women and victims should not have to bear the burden of fixing an issue that is out of their control by definition. Canadian journalist Liz Plank articulated those feelings well and started the counter-tag, #HimThough. While there are certainly women who enact abuse and men who are victims, sexual assault is most often the result of an unfair power dynamic between a man and a woman; these movements address that systemic dynamic.

Thankfully, men have come through in response to both trends with #IHearYou. Now that victims are coming forward in such numbers in support of each other, the response from others is just as important for actual change. Many men apologized for the system that allows and enables sexual assault, offered sympathies and vowed to do better. There is far more work to be done, but awareness and apologies are a start.

COMMENTS