Shortly after Harvey Weinstein, American film producer and former film studio executive, became the subject of sexual assault allegations, the hashtag #MeToo trended nationwide. Alyssa Milano put out a call to action for other victims of sexual assault. Milano tweeted “If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
According to thesun.com, “Alyssa’s rally call has sparked off other hashtags too.
In France, Twitter users are using #balancetonporc or “expose the pig” to encourage women to name and shame their attackers, while #Womenwhoroar is being used to encourage victims of sexual abuse to speak up.” Nearly half a million people have tweeted the hashtag in response.
“Because of this online campaign, I will be asking my younger brother and my male friends and colleagues how they really behave on nights out, what they would do if they saw something inappropriate, and what they think constitutes sexual harassment. You should, too. Because women know that this kind of stuff has been going on for years, and it is time that the men closest to us understood the extent of it, so our collective anger can be used to force a shift in the gender paradigm.” Georgina Lawton said from theguardian.com. The hashtag has raised awareness and started a conversation among millions, but will it change the action and behavior of sexual assaulters?
“What my dad taught me was to be a gentleman and to treat women with respect. That has to do with being a gentleman and recognizing the differences in sex roles. One of the things that has happened is that traditional masculinity, the idea that it is a man’s job to protect women, the feminists don’t like that. Well then you can’t blame us for not protecting women if you don’t want us to protect women…..if you’re telling me that I can’t even hold open a door for women because this is somehow an offense to her honor or if I say that ‘it is man’s job to protect women’ but this is somehow reinforcing gender stereotypes then don’t come whining to me when bad stuff happens. Because the answer to bad behavior is good behavior. The answer to vice is virtue. The answer to vice isn’t just yelling and hashtagging crap,” Ben Shapiro said in response to a student when asked about the oppression brought to life in Hollywood.
It’s no secret that sexual assault plays a role in our society. The statistics show it. After everything’s said and done, was the hashtag effective?