The #MeToo movement has spread a lot in the recent years and that is for a good reason. Although this movement is known under other names as well, the Me Too hashtag has been the most popular synonym for this widespread movement. In essence, this movement is against all forms of sexual assault and sexual harassment. What made the hashtag so popular was the viral tweet posted back in October of 20107 by the actress Alyssa Milano. The tweet was an attempt to draw attention to the problems of sexual harassment and assault, especially in the place of work. The #MeToo movement gained huge attraction during the allegations for sexual abuse made against Harvey Weinstein.
Origins of the Phrase #MeToo
The first activist to use the phrase ‘Me Too’ was the American Tarana Burke. She is a social activist that used this phrase back in 2006, but the phrase was made lot more popular in 2017 when Alyssa Milano used it on Twitter. Milano used the phrase as a tool to encourage all victims of sexual harassment and assault to tweet their bad experiences and show other people the seriousness of this problem. That tweet proved to be a huge success and many famous actresses, musicians, and athletes started using the phrase to share their experiences.
When Tarana Burke used the phrase in 2006, she planned to promote people empowerment through showing empathy for women that have experienced some form of sexual abuse. This was primarily for women that lived in bad communities. Burke also made a documentary called Me Too, for which she said she got an inspiration from a teenage girl that told her that was sexually assaulted. Burke was left speechless to that confession and said that she only wanted to say ‘me too’. That is how the phrase Me Too got invented.
Before the phrase #MeToo there were many other hashtags that were used as a way to draw attention to the problem with sexual harassment. However, #MeToo proved to be the catchiest, shortest and most effective hashtag used for this matter. Thanks to Alyssa Milano, this hashtag became extremely popular, but she still acknowledged and praised Burke for invention of this catchy phrase.
The original goal that Tarana Burke had in mind back in 2006 was to encourage women to use this phrase and to empower them with empathy. Sexual harassment has been a big problem since forever, but only in the recent years people became more aware about it. Millions of women have started telling their stories of abuse and Me Too movement has spread in many different countries and in different languages. Today this movement has different meaning to different people and its initial purpose has expanded. Anyhow, Tarana Burke will be remembered as the creator of this widespread movement. Today #MeToo movement has grown significantly in comparison to a decade ago and now it includes men and women of all ages and backgrounds. The #MeToo movement is here to stay and to support marginalized individuals in all communities worldwide.