Millions of women across the world have been sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse in an online campaign using the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter and Facebook.
The social media meme was sparked by Charmed actress Alyssa Milano on Sunday, who asked her followers to reply “me too” if they had ever been sexually harassed or assaulted.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
It was a reaction to sexual abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone. Milano’s original tweet received over 37,000 comments, and the hashtag was one of the top trends on Twitter in Britain and the United States. On Facebook, around 7 million people were discussing #MeToo on Monday afternoon.
In India also, the hashtag was trending on Twitter and Facebook for a very long time.
Men,if you are not talking about your own experiences with the #MeToo hashtag then shut up and stop trying to police women who are. Kthnxbai
— Aditi (@awryaditi) October 16, 2017
Happy to see men sharing #MeToo stories. Acknowledging that sexual abuse is not a women’s problem, but everyone’s problem, is important.
— Khushi Parekh (@kp07_1d) October 16, 2017
instead of telling young women to dress appropriately, teach young men to NOT rape, that NO means NO and to love accordingly. #MeToo
— Bindas Ladki (@bindasladki) October 16, 2017
In Saudi they behead men who rape. In China they castrate them. In North Korea it’s the firing squad. In India all we can do is say #MeToo.
— Meghna Pant (@MeghnaPant) October 16, 2017
I doubt any woman is that lucky that she won’t get flashed at/sexually assaulted/abused/raped/molested at least once in her lifetime.#MeToo
— shunali shroff (@shunalishroff) October 16, 2017
If all the women who have been sexually harassed wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the problem#metoo
— Shenaz Treasury (@ShenazTreasury) October 16, 2017
The number of #metoo stories being shared are too many and also very disturbing. Humanity has failed.
— Manasi Pathak (@ThatUnitedLady) October 16, 2017
I don't know a single man in India, who can stand up and say that he hasn't been victimised due to gender biased assumptions. #MeToo
— Bhaskar Vatsa (@bhaskar_vats) October 16, 2017
#meToo - the first time was in the 4th standard. the postman who tried to pinch non existent breasts.
— Harini Calamur (@calamur) October 16, 2017
I remember how gobsmacked my dad was, when my mum and me were discussing the harassment we deal with on a ridiculously regular basis #MeToo
— Neha Sumitran (@Nehasumitran) October 16, 2017
#MeToo. On the local train; at the bus stop; over the phone; at work. And these are only those moments I registered in real time, and now remember. The rest, I realised in hindsight.
— Reetika (@reetiks) October 16, 2017
— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) October 16, 2017
My first 'cousin' got drunk & insisted that I sleep next to him on a single mattress cuz we barely meet and we should be bonding #MeToo
— Aishwarya Thakur (@Ayesoreya) October 16, 2017
Yet to meet a person from my gender who has not suffered abuse/harassment/ being groped in their lives. We're all survivors here. #MeToo
— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) October 16, 2017
It’s sad to see wives of sexual harassers using the #metoo hashtag oblivious to the asshole next to them. I feel doubly bad for them.
— Aparna Jain (@Aparna) October 16, 2017
Where to begin? A man once reached into my autorickshaw outside New Delhi Railway Station, hit me hard on the chest & disappeared. #MeToo
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) October 16, 2017
— Maya Mirchandani (@maya206) October 16, 2017
You know if a girl tells you she’s been sexually harassed, what’s the best thing you could say to her? I BELIEVE YOU.#MeToo
— Nikita Jain (@Nikitajain2091) October 16, 2017
From the entertainment industry across the world names like singer Lady Gaga, Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin and Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood took part in the online campaign. Wood described being raped by an unnamed individual.
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) October 15, 2017
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) October 13, 2017
Being raped once made it easier to be raped again. I instinctually shut down. My body remembered, so it protected me.
I disappeared. #metoo
— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) October 16, 2017
Some men who said they were also victims of sexual assault took to the social media to share their stories, including one of the stars of Broadway musical Hamilton, Javier Munoz.
In France, where prevalent sexism has regularly triggered calls to end a code of silence, journalist Sandra Muller sparked a similar outpouring of sharing under the hashtags #balancetonporc and the phrase’s English equivalent, #squealonyourpig.
Radio journalist Anais Dent was one of those sharing her story, writing: “First journalism internship in Paris, I was 18. The editor in chief kisses me against my will. He’d just had a baby. #balancetonporc.”
Here are some of the posts shared from across the world:
Reminder that if a woman didn't post #MeToo, it doesn't mean she wasn't sexually assaulted or harassed. Survivors don't owe you their story.
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) October 16, 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
I mean #metoo. But I don’t owe you my story. And you shouldn’t have to see every woman you know post about it to believe us
— Amanda Pattillo-Lunt (@mannypeepee) October 17, 2017
I used to think it was my fault. If there's anyone out there blaming themselves, It's not your fault. #MeToo
— Miss Atomic Bomb⚡️ (@danipalsss) October 17, 2017
You are not alone. We are in this together. #MeToo
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 17, 2017
I hope these brave and incredibly powerful personal #metoo statements serve as a gigantic mirror to all men and challenge them to be better.
— Eric Johnson (@EricJJohnson79) October 17, 2017
& more than once.
& just this year.
& before my transition.
& after my transition.
& these are all the words i have for now.
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) October 17, 2017
#MeToo because I was a kid and I thought home was a safe place for me. I've been in denial the whole time but not anymore.
— Shamau Rasheed (@shamaau) October 17, 2017
— Linda Belcher (@carolineconaway) October 17, 2017
It's hard to feel like my #MeToo matters when a man can still publicly joke about sexually assaulting a women and become President.
— mw (@MegWalshh) October 16, 2017
With inputs from Reuters
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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 10:05:35 IST