#metoo or #MeToo is a hashtag created to raise awareness on sexual harassment on women. It all started in 2006 when the American woman Tarana Burke heard about a young black woman that had been sexually harassed. Tarana didn´t know what to answer the woman so she sent her to another woman for counselling. After this, she thought, “me too” would have been a good thing to answer. And on that thought she started her campaign. It all started on MySpace, the biggest social media at the time. She also started the website ”justbeinc” where the campaign and support for women continues. At the beginning it was mostly aimed at black women and to make them realize that they aren´t alone in the struggle, but it has gotten a massive reach and spread throughout the world.
Acknowledged by Hollywood
Following widespread exposure of accusations of predatory behaviour by Harvey Weinstein and the trials on actress Alyssa Milano, who made a blog post where she encouraged all women that had experienced sexual harassment to make a post with the hashtag #MeToo. The post was written on mid-day of October 15 in 2017 and at the end of that day #MeToo had been used more than 200 000 times. The following day it had increased to about 500 000. On Facebook the hashtag was used by 4,7 million people and mentioned in 12 million posts in the first 24 hours. Soon stories came out from women around the world on how they had been harassed. Several female actresses in Hollywood, like, Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd and Jennifer Lawrence, shared their stories which shook a lot of people.
Mostly spread in the US
The movement spread the fastest in the US where it led a lot of consequences. Netflix flagship “House of Cards” where actor Kevin Spacey had the lead part was affected as he was accused of sexual harassment. Spacey was fired from the series and made an attempt to continue without him, but the viewers looked away and the series was cancelled.
Big breakthrough in Sweden
Outside the US, Sweden is the country where the movement also got a big breakthrough. Lots of media profiles where hanged out in the media, serves most of them right but some cases where without grounds. One of the biggest profiles in Swedish television, Martin Timell, was fired from his station after several women had come forward with stories on sexual harassment, homophobic-, sexist- and racist- jokes. He was also charged with rape, but on this he was later freed of the accusation.
Critique on the movement
Many people were affected on the breakthrough of the movement. Besides the women being harassed there were other victims in the matter. Many say that media was too quick to judge and publish alleged assaults with resulted in lots of innocent people being judged. Among famous people there was something of a confusion on whether #MeToo meant you had been violated or if you sympathised with people that had experienced assault or harassment. In fall of 2018 the first lady of USA, Melania Trump, joined the campaign. She said that if you make accusations on sexual harassment you shall have solid proof and evidence to prove it.
No matter from which angle you look at #MeToo, it has brought a lot of good. It is important to acknowledge sexual harassment and help eliminate it!