ME TOO MOVEMENT
“‘Me too’ was just two words, it’s two magic words that galvanized the world.”- Tarana Burke
What is ‘Me Too’ movement? Who started the ‘Me Too’ campaign? You must be wondering, what was the need for this movement?
Well, before answering all these questions I would like you all to ask yourselves how many times you had that worst experience of getting sexually abused or harassed in public place, workplace or at home itself. But still, you kept quiet because you didn’t want to make an issue over it or because of any other reasons. I know, about 90% of the people would have experienced this (including males and transgenders).
The origin of the phrase ‘Me Too’ goes back to 2006, when an American Social Activist and Community Organiser, Tarana Burke used it for the first time. The main purpose of this phrase was to confront the unspoken voices of vulnerable women against sexual harassment.
On 15th Oct 2017, an American actress, Alyssa Milano tweeted this phrase again with a hashtag (#) to unveil the number of people experiencing sexual assault and motivated them to disclose their experiences and the accused by tweeting publicly by using a hashtag. This concept spread like a fire all over the world.
“Tell your story. Shout it. Write it. Whisper it if you have to. But tell it. Some won’t understand it. Some will outright reject it. But many will thank you for it. And then the most magical thing will happen. One by one, voices will start whispering, ‘Me, too’. And your tribe will gather and you will never feel alone again.”- L.R. Knost
“When one person says, ‘Yeah, me, too,’ it gives permission for others to open up.” – Tarana Burke
STATISTICS – What Numbers have to Say?
- 3% of women were age 10 or younger at the time of their first completed rape victimization.
- About 76% of elder sexual abuse victims have had their incidents witnessed by another about 67% of elder sexual abusers were members of the family, according to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study.
- 1 of 3 women experiences sexual assault in their lifetime.
- 54% of boys who are Deaf have been sexually abused in comparison to 10% of boys who are hearing.
- 12% of transgender youth report being sexually assaulted in K-12 settings by peers or educational staff.
- According to the survey which used a nationally representative sample of about 2,000 adults, 81% of women and 43% of men say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lives.
- The most common type of harassment was verbal, according to the survey, with 77% of women and 34% of men reporting that they had experienced it at some point in their lives.
- 62% of women and 26% of men reported physical harassment, including unwelcome sexual touching.
DESCRIPTION – Let’s take a Deep Dive
The above statistics reflect the need for this movement. Billions of people started using this phrase all over the world and opened up their ‘MeToo’ stories. In recent few days, #MeToo got popularised in India also when Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta spoke up against popular actor Nana Patekar. Slowly names of many such well-known people like Alok Nath, Suhel Seth, Sajid Khan, Subhash Ghai, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor, Chetan Bhagat, etc came in front of the public.
This was necessary because it was observed that the victims cannot open up these topics in public because of pressure or fear of higher authorities or lack of knowledge about rights and laws. Many times, these cases were ignored if someone spoke about it. Instead of the accused, the victim felt shame on disclosing these cases.
#MeToo campaign made people fight against the accused. It can be treated as a warning to the perpetrators to make them realize their mistake. This gave a platform to the victims to raise their voice against any harassment. When many such cases came out in public, people supported the victims, as well as the victims, got that confidence to speak up when they saw many people suffering like them.
Join the movement. Support survivors and end sexual violence. You are not alone. – www.metoomvmt.org
PROS OF ME TOO CAMPAIGN
- This encouraged victims to speak up in public against any sexual harassment or assault.
- Social media acts as a great source to spread any news. This helped to share various harassment stories to spread all over the world rapidly.
- The victims get encouraged and motivated when they can see other people like them who suffered from the same incident and came out of it gloriously.
- This creates fear in the accused and stops them to do any such misacts in future.
- This campaign is not just for women, but for all the genders.
CONS OF ME TOO CAMPAIGN
- This can be misused also. Any women can claim anyone wrong and act like a victim.
- The whole life of the accused man can be destroyed without any evidence of accusation.
- No one can dare to fire a woman from work even she when doesn’t perform her job well because of the fear that she can misuse the ‘me too’ phrase and defame the company’s name.
- No proper proof or evidence is required.
#MeToo is a campaign which allows everyone i.e., any gender to speak out loud their harassment stories to the public. This broke the silence of many victims through social media across the world against sexual harassment. This also encouraged the victims to heal from their pasts and take a step towards a bright future.
But, how can anyone find any person guilty without any proof? Although it is claimed that this movement applies to everyone, but it is mostly inclined towards women. How the men will get justice in pre-dominantly women oriented laws is a matter of great concern.
Aap Kya Sochte Ho?
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Author – Riya Chandra