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Want to put an end to sexual assult? #metoo

Anna VanderLaan, Staff Writer

Unfortunately, sexual assault is not uncommon among women, nor is it an unprecedented issue. However, the recent #metoo movement, which gained popularity among women following sexual allegations filed against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, has provided a new platform for women to discuss harassment in a remarkably effective way.

 

In a country where one in five women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, change can best occur with discussion on the issue. The problem with this is that women who are victims of sexual harassment or assault often feel embarrassed, like what happened is their fault, or that speaking about their experiences is “taboo”. This lack of communication has allowed for the issue of sexual harassment to be written off as less prevalent than it really is. Which is why it was so essential for actress Alyssa Milano to tweet, “if all the 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.”

 

Tens of thousands of people reacted to Milano’s call to action, some describing their personal experiences, while others simply responding with “#metoo”. Women and men alike took the opportunity to support the #metoo movement, including celebrities Anna Paquin and Lady Gaga, who each tweeted out a response to Milano. Additional accusations of sexual misconduct followed the allegations about Weinstein, and as the pool of reported sexual assaulters grows, the #metoo movement does as well, finding support beyond Twitter in social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook.

 

The #metoo movement was a very important step towards women feeling comfortable enough to talk about sexual harassment; victims seek out the support they need on social media and find that they are not alone, resulting in more and more women sharing their stories with the world. The movement also shines light on the fact that sexual assault is a big issue in our country today, and it shouldn’t be ignored. The blame goes to a society that has denied women of a voice for too long, and the credit goes to social media which has given women the tool they need to make progress in the right direction. The best way the issue of sexual harassment and assault can be solved is with more movements like #metoo, which in my opinion, is an incredible addition to our progress. However, if I had one criticism, it would be that #metoo should’ve started sooner.

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Want to put an end to sexual assult? #metoo