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Thursday, December 13, 2018

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#MeToo leading a path for our generation


The #MeToo movement helps to empower women and promote feminism. It serves as a symbol of equality among genders. | Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons/User James McNellis

 

The wake of the #MeToo movement has left a trail of change. Ongoing debates about gender equality have remained unresolved as the war between genders prevails. If you look back to when women were denied basic liberties up to now, there’s a definite advancement. With the digital age flourishing among this generation, the movement has encouraged more woman to speak out.

Initially, the movement was an online campaign that supported survivors of sexual harassment, assault and abuse. It was started around 10 years ago by Tarana Burke, who revealed a detailed encounter about her own experience.

The campaign went viral, launching the #MeToo movement as a phenomenon that has taken over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, with people sharing stories of their own encounters.

In 2017, CNN reported that the #MeToo hashtag had been used over 825,000 times. More than 45 percent of people in the United States are friends with a person who has used this hashtag to send or post a message, according to Facebook.  

The #MeToo movement is providing a voice for a generation of individuals silenced by fear. Now, people are coming out about their own accounts of sexual assault. This increased visibility and awareness has shown that many of these traumatic events were brushed under the rug.

A national survey released in February of this year reported that 81 percent of women have said that they have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetimes.

Instead of getting away with their actions unscathed, men now must deal with the  consequences for their ill treatment of women.

In the wake of the exposure of Bill Cosby’s and Harvey Weinstein’s past sexually inappropriate actions, thousands of women have found the bravery to come forward and share the stories of their own traumatizing encounters. 

The #MeToo movement not only helps women withstand misogynistic treatment, but also helps to create a sense of shared responsibility to aid in the elimination of sexism. The movement continues to help women to share their stories and to show the world that women will not tolerate being silenced.

The movement, however, is not about feminism- it’s about equality. Although that’s not why #MeToo initially started, it helped to push the movement in the right direction to battle inequality.

Assistant opinion editor Laraib Hashmi is a print journalism senior and can be reached at [email protected]

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