A mere cursory look at different social media platforms will reveal a similar story. Women are sharing harrowing experiences of their past, of times when they were inappropriately touched and without consent with the hashtag #MeToo. What started as means to give reassurance that this is not just a story of a few, has now taken a life of its own.
On October 16, Charmed actress Alyssa Milano had tweeted a note saying, “Suggested by a friend: “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.” “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” she added. And since then women from different walks of life, from different strata of the society have united and are sharing their experiences.
Lately celebrities, both at home and abroad have also voiced their support in favour of it. While the movement has garnered sufficient praise, it is pretty evident that the narrative has been mostly lop-sided. Women have taken it upon themselves to embrace a difficult episode in their lives and share it with the world. However, the onus of it is on men too and while several women have rallied for participation, finally several men too have come up and lent their support.
While some have taken spoken about being abused, others have taken responsibility for their actions. There are also others who have urged their male counterparts to rectify themselves. While one wrote, I see you. I acknowledge you. I believe you. We should be better. We can do better. We will do better,” another wrote “Don’t try and participate in the #MeToo movement. Listen, absorb, learn. Do better.”
Men have been victims too.
— J (@breakingjason) October 17, 2017
And some have taken responsibility for their actions.
— Shariq Rafeek (@_riqsha) October 16, 2017
No to all kinds of verbal, physical, sexual, and psychological harassment that people go through everyday irrespective of gender.
— Ala Oueslati (@Alaoueslat) October 17, 2017
To those with a #MeToo Story:
I see you.
I acknowledge you.
I believe you.
We should be better.
We can do better.
We will do better.
— Steve Torres (@HeySteeb) October 17, 2017
A recommendation to men on the internet:
Don’t try and participate in the #MeToo movement. Listen, absorb, learn. Do better.
— Xand Venturas (@XandVenturas) October 17, 2017
— Philip O’Connor (@philipoconnor) October 17, 2017
Don’t say you have a mother, a sister, a daughter…
Say you have a father, a brother, a son who can do better.
We all can.#MeToo
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) October 16, 2017
Men: if #MeToo doesn’t have you frantically searching your memory and thinking “Did I?”, you’re either inexperienced or The Problem.
— Andy Goss (@CSSDuke) October 16, 2017
Every educated man needs to use the #MeToo movement to learn. Above all, To spread knowledge. To be inclusive and to be aware. I vow to try.
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) October 17, 2017
Though this participation by men is being seen as a positive contribution, the numbers seem to be far less. Not only that, there is a bigger question of whether this initiative will end up being just a one-week fad, or will it be at least a step forward in bringing in a change in attitude as well as action.