#MeToo: Sexually assaulted women take to social media, break internet
The hashtag questions the traditional power structure and focuses on 'calling out' or 'speaking out' their status
Monday saw an explosion of women tagging themselves with the hashtag #MeToo. The trend appears to have started with actress Alyssa Milano, who posted on Twitter that if all women who had experienced sexual assault or harassment wrote “Me Too” as a status, it would “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”.
The hashtag is giving rising to a new focus on speaking out, or calling out, or challenging the way traditional power structures are built. Many women in India took to social media to share their status as well. #MeTooIndia became a sub-hashtag soon and now celebrities, lawyers and authors are using the hashtag to highlight their harassment stories.
The hashtag started trending on Twitter and Facebook, shared by thousands of women various countries, several celebrities among them. While some shared details of what they had been through, others simply stood up to be counted. The twitter explosion comes a day after another hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter made the rounds, when several users logged off for a day on Friday to protest against online abuse.
Comedian Aditi Mittal came out with her post with the #MeToo hashtag lamenting on men who were moral policing women. Her post read, " Men, if you are not talking about your own experiences with the #MeToo hashtag then shut up and stop trying to police women who are. kthnxbai."
It is part of a new awareness and anger about sexual harassment after allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein came to light. A recent New York Times investigation found charges against Weinstein that stretched back decades, ranging from harassment to rape, with at least eight women paid off for their silence. After the allegations, several famous actresses also revealed that they had been harassed or assaulted by Weinstein. The Hollywood producer is the latest in a line of powerful men to have been felled by charges of sexual crime.
Cartoonist Rohan Chakravarthy came out in support of the #meToo hashtag and hoped for a better, safer world to live in with his cartoon. The cartoon unfortunately shows the many horrors of being a woman walking in the middle of the road.