Women's History Month: The Mother of the #MeToo Movement

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March is Women's History Month and it's a celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

One woman who has played a big part in altering American History is Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.  Using those two words as a communication tool with survivors of sexual violence Ms. Burke kickstarted a activism movement. It has truly changed the world.  

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 3.18.46 PMIn 2006, Tarana Burke, a sexual assault survivor herself, used the phrase "Me Too" as a way to help women who have survived sexual violence, self identify and share in the pain. She used the phrase originally as a beacon of light to help Black women and girls, and other young women of color from low wealth communities find pathways to healing. 

Fast-forward 10 years, and the phrase became the hashtag for thousands.  After stories of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abuse of women broke in the news the hashtag #MeToo exploded on social media as a vehicle for women to share their stories. The simple phrase is super-powerful and represents so much more to so many women who had experienced sexual violence or harassment.   

After the hastag #MeToo went viral this vital conversation about sexual violence became a national dialog.  It only took six months for this grassroots local organization to expand even further and go global, reaching survivors all over the country and the world. 

The movement hopes to create a safe place to disclose, feel less alone and helped to de-stigmatize the act of surviving.  The movement now inspires solidarity and raises the voices of the survivors. It looks to leave room for individual healing and galvanizing those who have healed into a broad base of survivors to disrupt the systems that allow for sexual violence.  

Their goal is also to reframe and expand the conversation around violence and they want perpetrators to be held accountable and strategies implemented to sustain long term, systemic change.

Ms. Burke hopes the movement will continue to expand the conversation about the sexual harassment and assault of women and the roles of power and patriarchy in perpetuating the objectification and oppression. It also hopes to speak to the needs of a broader spectrum of survivors. 

#MeToo paved the way for #TimesUp, a legal defense fund and anti-sexual harassment initiative backed by prominent women in the entertainment industry.

Watch MNN's "Raising the Bar" on workplace sexual harassment in the #MeToo Era:

 

For more information visit: metoomvmt.org