Viral: Women Flood Social Media With #MeToo — It’s Time To Say #IBelieveYou

October 19, 2017
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This weekend, two words had become a battle cry against sexual harassment

Viral: Women Flood Social Media With #MeToo — It’s Time To Say #IBelieveYou

This weekend, two words had become a battle cry against sexual harassment; Me Too. The hashtag went wildly viral last night, as women took to social media platforms to declare that they, too, did have experienced sexual harassment or abuse.

The powerful words were used by actress Alyssa Milano to inspire women to reveal just how many of us have dealt with harassment and abuse. She shared the #MeToo message on Twitter where it quickly went viral — but the movement was initially started 10 years ago by activist Tarana Burke, who started a “grassroots movement to aid sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities ‘where rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers weren’t going.’”

Thousands of people, mostly women, began replying.

On Facebook, the same status began to circulate:

Me, too.
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. Please copy and paste. #MeToo

One after the other I saw my female friends’ statuses change to “Me too”. I had to hold back tears from the feeling of seeing the sheer magnitude of the women I love add their voice to the chorus. But I wasn’t surprised. No woman would be surprised by this. We’ve been dealing with harassment and abuse our whole lives. I couldn’t name a single woman in my life who had never been harassed. Not even a SINGLE ONE.

At the same moment I realized how many of my female friends were rising up to add their voices to this movement, it became disturbingly clear how many men were staying silent.
Your silence is deafening.

This is not to say men haven’t shared stories of harassment as well — they have. But we can’t ignore the fact that harassment and sexual violence is something that disproportionately affects women. And since this is all coming to light because of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it’s important to note that women are far more likely to suffer workplace harassment than men. According to the National Council for Research on Women, women are nine times more likely than men to quit their jobs, five times more likely to transfer, and three times more likely to lose jobs due to harassment.

And when it comes to sexual violence — one out of six women would experience an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. And 90% of adult rape victims were female.
When the horrific stories of Weinstein’s assaults began to make news last week, there was a chorus of “Why didn’t the women speak up sooner?” But they did speak up. They told loved ones and friends and people they trusted. And they are speaking up now — and naming names and the weight of all of this shouldn’t even be on their shoulders.

I was sitting on the train last week in front of two businessmen traveling out of New York City to my Hudson Valley home. One of the men was watching a show on Netflix, and commented, horrified, “My god. They just killed a little girl on this show.” His friend laughed, and replied, “The bitch probably had it coming. She probably didn’t put out.” His friend chuckled uncomfortably.

He was talking about a child.

I felt my ears get hot, and my blood pressure rise. I was disgusted by a man who would even think to utter a statement like that, but almost more disgusted by his co-worker who, obviously uncomfortable, said nothing. This is the type of enabling that breeds a toxic male workplace. And if you’re not a fucking Neanderthal, it’s time to start calling this behavior out.

We need you, men. We need your voices. Women would be far more inclined to come forward if their environment wasn’t bathed in toxic masculinity. Men would be far less likely to methodically commit workplace harassment if the men surrounding them didn’t stand for it.

See, it’s not that hard. Add your voices, men.

In 2017, the concept of privilege was a hot button issue.

Viral: Show This Insanely Viral Video To Anyone Who Doesn’t Understand What ‘Privilege’ Means

In 2017, the concept of privilege was a hot button issue. Yet despite how frequently the term was invoked, many people struggled to grasp it, or to understand how insidious it was to everyday life.

This video should help.

Using nothing more than a field, his class of students, and some simple commands, a college professor educated a group of young kids on the concept of privilege. And now that the video has gone viral, with over 200,000 shares on Facebook, it’s educating a lot of others as well.

In the video, the teacher lined up his class at the edge of a grassy field. He told them they were going to have a race, and the winner would receive a 100 dollar bill. But there was a catch.
Some of the students were going to get a head start.

Before the race began, he told his class that when one of the statements applied to them, they can take two steps forward. Otherwise, stay put.

Patiently and methodically, the teacher began to make a series of statements. Statements like, “Take two steps forward… if your parents are still married,” and “if you grew up with a father figure in the home,” “if you had access to a private education,” “if you never had to help Mom or Dad with the bills.”

Slowly, the students began to separate.

”Take two steps forward if it wasn’t because of your athletic ability that you don’t have to pay for college.”
“Take two steps forward if you never wondered where your next meal was gonna come from.”
As a handful of students start to make it closer to the front, the teacher begins to break down what was happening, instructing them to turn around and look behind them. Then he dropped the hammer.

”Every statement I’ve made has nothing to do with anything any of you have done…We all know these people up here have a better opportunity to win this hundred dollars…We would be fools to not realize we’ve been given more opportunity.”

Privilege is a complicated issue, and it’s not about to be solved by a teacher with a small class of students.
Diverse as the group in the video may be, it couldn’t possibly capture the full range of different ethnicities, class backgrounds, sexual identities and other signifiers that factor into the conversation and add many more wrinkles than simply male/female, or white/black.

That said, the video does a masterful job of communicating how privilege works. Some people, by virtue of little more than genetics and circumstance, simply started life in a more advantageous position than others.

And this is not an easy thing to change. But we can change our awareness of the things that put us where we are. We need to acknowledge that the playing field is not level, adjust our attitudes accordingly, and do our best to use our privilege to boost others.

“You still gotta run your race but whoever wins this hundred dollars, I think it would be extremely foolish of you not to utilize that and learn more about someone else’s story.”

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