After women across social media shared stories about sexual harassment with the hashtag ‘MeToo,’ men are now opening up about their own shameful experiences.
After the outing of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse in Hollywood, women around the world have shared their stories. Specifically about Weinstein, 45 women have come forward to share their experiences with the producer, including Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey. Now, women are also starting to speak out about Harvey’s younger brother Bob Weinstein.
Many actresses have spoken out about their own harrowing experiences with other powerful men in Hollywood.
Jennifer Lawrence recounted a degrading experience she had early in her career, being forced into a nude line-up with other actresses to encourage her to lose weight. Reese Witherspoon also revealed her experience as a teenager, saying “[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.”
Women from all walks of life are now speaking publicly about being sexually assaulted by men in power.
Former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney recently announced she was the victim of sexual assault during her entire time on Team USA at the hands of the team doctor.
On social media, women everywhere began sharing their experiences. Celebrities like Evan Rachel Wood, Gabrielle Union, and Lady Gaga all shared some part of their story with the hashtag Me Too.
Initially, the #MeToo movement was criticized for being far too familiar.
Brooke tweets, “Let’s take a moment to reiterate #YesAllWomen. #MeToo. Why isn’t this common knowledge yet? More importantly, why hasn’t it stopped yet?” Katherine writes, “#MeToo and I’m tired of how often I need to shout it at indifferent masses just to prove it happens.”
And Dani Knight says, “#Metoo. But to be clear, we’ve done this before. #Yesallwomen. If you don’t believe us by now that’s on you.”
The hashtag “Yes All Women” came after a horrifying mass shooting.
In May 2014, a 22-year-old man killed 7 people in a day-long rampage in Santa Barbara, California. In a 141-page manifesto, the killer blamed his severe depression and loneliness on his troubles with women.
The Santa Barbara attack, while extreme and deadly, was seen as another instance of the kind of violence women experience often. Over 1 million users posted their stories of abuse, violence, misogyny, and sexism with the YesAllWomen hastag.
Three years later, it is a little hard for men to act surprised at this news. So, some men are stepping up to the challenge to finally have this conversation. “Guys, it’s our turn,” tweets Benjamin Law, “After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.”
And Benjamin offers a lot of great ideas for men looking to do better.
Ben suggests donating to your local women’s shelter, bringing male friends up to speed on sexism, and actually reporting a rape if you hear about it. More men have offered their own pledges to help end the culture of silence around sexual assault.
What do you think of #HowIWillChange? Is social media changing minds? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter at