While sexual harassment was considered “hush hush” and swept under the rug for generations, we are lucky to live in a time where not only are victims speaking out, but there are foundations and movements that are actively fighting against rape and sexual misconduct. One of these movements is, as many know, the #MeToo movement. This movement was founded in 2006, and its goal has been to make survivors feel heard and understood, and ultimately, to spur change (North, 2o19).
What some may not know is the original goal of this organization was to help Black survivors and other young women of color find healing (metoomvmt.org). They strived to form a community, driven by survivors, to not only help those who have gone through these traumatic experiences, but also to stop this from happening altogether in their communities.
This movement began as a grassroots effort, but with the hashtag #MeToo, the movement boomed and went viral, starting a national conversation about how to turn this “hush hush” issue into one that needs to be addressed. And not only addressed, but de-stigmatized. So many generations were taught to keep abuse quiet, but this organization fights to encourage survivors and their voices (if they choose to use it).
The movement now not only focuses on women of color, but of all people. Trans, queers, and the disabled alike, of all races. Their goal is to spur systemic change, specifically for the perpetrators (metoomvmt.org). Overarchingly, their goal is to create a society in which no one has to live in fear of being violated. The #MeToo movement provides resources to both survivors and allies, and conducts research on sexual violence (metoomvmt.org).
So what has the #MeToo movement done so far? Perpetrators are finally being fired from the workplace, states are banning non-disclosure agreements that cover sexual harassment, and more protection in the workplace are just a few. Above all, this movement has challenged Americans to stop looking away, and finally address a widespread issue that harms people not only physically, but mentally as well. It has spurred a dialogue about the uncomfortable - which are most often, the most important dialogues to have.
It has not only educated so many on sexual assault, but has fostered a community, in which the main message spread is that you are not alone. Without movements like this, it would be difficult to ever bring about change, or help those affected. With social media’s power, this movement has and will continue to shake the world until justice is served.