So lately, there’s been this “Me Too” thing happening all over the Internets, wherein women briefly state that they, too, have been sexually assaulted. Some have even hashtagged it. The popular assumption is that it was started by Alyssa Milano, in response to Rose McGowan and her denunciations of Harvey Weinstein’s numerous instances of sexual misconduct. But that assumption is wrong. Here’s who’s really behind it, and no, she never crossed paths with Harvey Weinstein. Meet Tarana Burke:
This photo was taken at a March Against Rape Culture in 2014, in Philadelphia. Tarana’s project began as a community initiative to help poor (and disproportionately non-white) women, who are also frequently sexually assaulted due to a combination of racism and misogyny. She launched a website, where you simply give your e-mail address to receive information and support.
So, what does she think of this #MeToo phenomenon? Well, here are some tweets:
It has been amazing watching all of the pushback against Harvey Weinstein and in support of his accusers over the last week in particular, today I have watched women on social media disclose their stories using the hashtag #metoo.
It made my heart swell to see women using this idea – one that we call “empowerment through empathy” to not only show the world how widespread and pervasive sexual violence is, but also to let other survivors know they are not alone.
The point of the work we’ve done over the last decade with the “me too movement” is to let women, particularly young women of colour know that they are not alone – it’s a movement.
Yes, it is indeed a movement. And it’s going forward, unstoppably. Even without disclosing any other details of our rapes and assaults, women (and men too) are letting each other know that it happens, and happens a lot.
Thank you, Tarana Burke, for starting this movement.
And yes, me too.