Unless you haven’t been on the Internet this week, you’ve probably seen many women posting the hashtag #MeToo. Following the sexual harassment and assault accusations towards Harvey Weinstein by several high-profile celebrities, more and more women in Hollywood have forward with their own stories about being victims of sexual assault. On October 15, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted this:
Suggested by a friend: “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.”
She called for women to reply “Me too” to her tweet if they, too, had faced sexual harassment or assault, and they did, but they also spread it like wildfire all over every social network. Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchats were flooded with “Me too,” which is equally disturbing as it is powerful. It really did show the “magnitude of the problem,” as just about every woman alive today has faced some form of sexual harassment.
“Me too,” made such a big impact, that many men on the internet have gotten the message. So much so, that the hashtag #HowIWillChange is now making the rounds on Twitter. Started by writer Benjamin Law, #HowIWillChange calls for men to state how they will alter their behavior from now on to make sure women are treated fairly and ethically.
“Guys, it’s our turn.
After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.”
He then listed the things he would be doing to help, like acknowledging “that if all women I know have been sexually harassed, abused or assaulted, then I know perpetrators. Or am one.”
Since then, hundreds and hundreds of men have tweeted their own messages alongside the hashtag, with deeply moving initiatives that will surely, if acted upon, create a much safer, healthier, and happier environment for women everywhere.
If men are wondering how they can step in and fight for equality, a browse through #HowIWillChange is a good place to start. Even the smallest actions, like walking a woman to her car at night or calling out friends for sexist jokes can make a big difference. It feels like a new beginning for feminism and equality, so here’s hoping it sticks. We could all use a little more empathy and compassion these days.
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