It’s no secret that sexual harassment is a hot topic in the news right now, considering recent events regarding Harvey Weinstein. However, this goes beyond Hollywood, and the movie industry, as sexual harassment is an issue that has been around for years, affecting millions. Specifically, the “Me Too” Internet sensation has grown into a full-blown social movement. The idea was started by an activist by the name of Tarana Burke, and brings together the victims of sexual harassment and assault via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Dozens of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow and countless others have come forward with their stories, as well as millions of regular people who have experienced the same things.
The movement not only brings to light topics that are hard to talk about but necessary to act against, but also brings together the victims of these experiences in a comforting and healing way. The movement is an agent for social change and justice and has definitely started necessary conversations about sexual harassment in the workforce. It does this, but it is so much more than that.
It’s also a therapeutic platform for survivors of difficult harassment experiences to talk about their stories and educate others about the topic.
The “Me Too” movement has inspired tons of women to speak their mind about what has happened to them in the past, but it is important to note that this is not an issue that only pertains to females. It’s a known fact that men and boys have also been the target for sexual harassment throughout the years. This was shown through Terry Crews coming forward about a story that happened to him at a hollywood function similar to the experiences others have come forward about regarding the “Me Too” movement.
Terry Crews made a brave decision and decided to tell his story, and his along with every other victim’s story is what will bring attention to this age old issue. Crews’ experience along with countless other men and boys who have endured this humiliation on several accounts shows how widespread this problem is. It is not a gender-based issue, although it may seem that way. This problem is getting lots of attention, but that is not going to fix the problem; it is extremely important that we act.
A change will not happen overnight, and the problem may never completely go away. However, the first step is taking it seriously. Victims should no longer be afraid to come forward with their stories. We as a society should try our best to create an environment in which women and men who have experienced this can feel comfortable enough to come forward and get the support they need. In order for this to happen, it would be helpful for the court system to take sexual harassment and abuse more seriously. Sexual abuse is exactly the same as abuse in all its other forms, and should be taken just as seriously.
The “Me Too” movement has proven that sexual harassment is clearly an issue in Hollywood, and all around the world, but one of the most dangerous places when it comes to this issue is on college campuses.
It’s a problem that has been on campuses all around the world for years and might never go away. Luckily, colleges like Keene State are taking steps to eliminate the issue. KSC has a great program called No Zebras, No Excuses which addresses sexual harassment issues on campus as well as other harassment and violence issues. We are lucky to go to a school in which harassment, especially sexual harassment, is taken as seriously as it should be.
Sexual harassment is an issue that has existed for a long time and is finally coming fully into the light now. People are having the conversation, but that isn’t enough. Conversation is good, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The only thing that will do so is action.
Zoeann Day can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org