Tarana Burke and the Me Too Movement
Tarana Burke, a social activist and all around feminist, coined the term “Me too” after a young girl at a summer camp she was working for, confided in her about her sexual assault. The phrase was put into use around 2006, on a Myspace page she curated. The aim was for everyone, but was specifically targeted towards young people of color in poorer communities.
However, in an attempt to draw more support and efforts towards sexual assault survivors and the topic in general, the Me Too Movement resurfaced into the limelight because of the actress, Alyssa Milano. Since that day, according to the CNN network, the phrase has been used nearly 200,000 times and tweeted nearly 500,000 times by October 16th.
I would like to reiterate that I believe sexual assault victims deserve safe spaces to express their pain and heal from what they have been through. These types of incidents can occur to anyone, no matter what background you come from. While I have never been raped personally, I know what it feels like to be put in uncomfortable positions where someone tries to persuade you to do things that you may not like or touch you in a way that you did not want or approve. However, any form of sexual assault is never okay.
This is not a movement specifically for women either. The reason that this is a multi level situation is because it is a systematic hindrance that has affected women and men on all spectrums and backgrounds. In terms of the film industry, and what has recently happened to powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, this has come right in the climax of everything. A platform such as the Me Too Movement reaffirms these people that they are not alone and has given them their voices back.
Terry Crews, who was groped by a popular movie director, brings up the idea that we should expect more from men too. We should not allow toxic masculinity to distort our perception of how men should deal with their sexual assault as well. While women have been given their rights at a much later start, movements such as these garner confidence and is important for young girls and young men to see across the globe. I believe that grassroots work within the community will be how we can positively impact people the most and the fastest.
As for the future, I do not think this movement will go to waste. We see people fighting for women’s reproductive rights, we see people fighting against toxic masculinity, and we see people shifting their political thought. Generation Z and onward will not stand for these acts and I see us pushing these morals forward and truly respecting people as human beings. That is why no matter your political association, it is important to vote these people out and give people their rights back and not in the form of privilege.