People who use any type of social networking service may have seen #MeToo as it is not only fairly apparent in different kinds of SNS, but also in newspaper or other media. And yet, Me Too campaign is not a casual or faddish hashtag, but a catalyst for a significant social change. Through countless disclosures, Me Too campaign has pronounced its purposes: to reveal any cases of sexual harassment, to criticize those who misuse authority and power to commit sexual abuse, and to encourage the victims to speak up for what they have been enduring. The specific goals of the campaign definitely show that it is pursuing a change, a world without unwanted sexual advance.
Me Too campaign was made known to the public on October 2017 as a famous American film producer, Harvey Weinstein, was publicly revealed of sexually abusing more than eighty women in the film industry. Following the disclosure on Harvey Weinstein, Alyssa Milano, an American actress, “tweeted” that “If all 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.” It was then the use of Hashtag (#) Me Too started to popularize all over the world.
Me Too movement reveals the unfortunate prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment in our society and criticizes those who takes advantages of their authority, status, and power. As Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse was unveiled, “Weinstein effect” began to reveal other sexual harassment incidents in various fields of society, including the entertainment business and the political circles. In the former field, an actor, Kevin Spacey had to drop out of several dramas and films once he was caught to have committed sexual harassment since 1980s. Meanwhile, in the latter field, John Conyers, a member of Congress, had to retire immediately after the sexual harassment allegations. Since Weinstein, Spacey and Conyers were “famous” and “powerful”, it was easy for them to commit and conceal their actions. Nonetheless, due to Hashtag(#) MeToo movement, sexual abuses that tortured innumerable victims for several years were finally disclosed.
Me Too campaign reveals and criticizes the offenders while encouraging the victims to speak up and to comfort each other. As the victims were directly and indirectly forced to remain silent about the sexual assaults, they had to keep the traumatizing incidents to themselves, secretly and lonesomely blaming the offenders. However, as the courageous women and other supporters started to reveal the fact that they were sexually abused, by using #MeToo, the offenders were publicly condemned for their nasty demeanors and were fired from their workplaces. Furthermore, the campaign helps the victims, especially in a psychological manner.
As an example, “Mosque Me Too” was widely spread among the Islamic countries. In former days, the victims were reluctant to report sexual assaults since even the clerics blamed on the women for the abuse. Nonetheless, as Sabika Kahn, a Pakistani Muslim woman, shared her unfortunate experience on Facebook for being sexually harassed, many Muslim women began to share their similar experiences. Muslim women did not only comfort each other by doing so, but also realized the necessity of unity in order to change the attitude toward sexual abuses in Islamic society. In addition to Muslim women, women of all countries and religions finally started to voice their sexual abuse experiences. The sexual abuses which the victims have gone through were thought to be ashamed of and to be hidden in the past, but those people are now receiving support from people all around the world through #MeToo. Me Too movement gives the victims of sexual harassment courage to speak up and helps everyone to raise awareness of the frequent occurrence of sexual harassment.
As more and more #MeToo spreads around SNS, Me Too campaign is turning as not just a society-wide but a worldwide movement. As it is being Hash-tagged(#) in more countries, the effect of #MeToo is maximized while at the same time its goal is reached. The campaign castigates the bad, comforts the victims, and raises awareness towards sexual harassment among everyone. Me Too movement, with its clear purposes to reveal the truth, to criticize the offenders, and to encourage the victims, undoubtedly brings and will bring a positive change to our society.