In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal and allegations against actor Ben Affleck, social media has been abuzz with conversations about complicity, misogyny and just how pervasive these are.
Now, two words, ‘me too’, have become a rallying point for a number of people, recounting their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.
On Sunday, American actor Alyssa Milano tweeted that anyone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted should reply to her tweet saying “me too”.
About 10 hours later, the sheer volume of replies on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag offers insight into just how common these experiences are, and how much they are questioned nevertheless.
You can some of the reactions below.
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
When you have to explain to your friend that she's been sexually harassed because she was always told she overreacted. #MeToo— Amelia Coburn (@apandorac) October 16, 2017
I don’t like talking about it. But it was sexual assault my sophomore year. I never told anyone about it. Please reach out. Speak up #MeToo— SpOoKy JaS (@tristansbbg) October 16, 2017
Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, PTSD, trust issues, sleeping disorders. #MeToo— Venkayla Haynes (@VenkaylaHaynes) October 16, 2017
I've been threatened with rape, the most brutal methods of murder you can imagine, targeted & harassed because of my political views #MeToo— Lucid Hurricane (@LucidNightmarez) October 16, 2017
I don’t feel like I should be ashamed,but I am. I don’t want to be viewed as “dirty” or a “victim” when I didn’t want any of it #metoo— Miss Shannon (@shazbow16) October 16, 2017
I was raped when I was 14 and I've told no one about it because I'm a man and she's a woman and no one would've taken me seriously. #MeToo— Geisterwand (@Geisterwand) October 16, 2017
When you are sexually assaulted or harassed, it is so easy to be made to feel like it was not what you experienced. It was. #MeToo— Katie Hubbard (@Khubbard991) October 16, 2017
you can't forget how many "normal" seeming predatory men lurked around ur child self in the shape of a neighbour, a teacher, an uncle #MeToo— Imaan Sheikh (@sheikhimaan) October 16, 2017
Being asked "are you sure" after telling someone you've been assualted , and you got to sit down and ask yourself if you asked for it #metoo— Amanda Mellina (@AmandaMellina) October 16, 2017
These are merely some of the experiences. If you search for the hashtag on social media, the results show hundreds of heartbreaking accounts of sexual harassment, assault, victim blaming and subjugation.
There were also people who pointed out how big a role the complicity of others plays in silencing survivors of gender-based violence.
Yes, of course #metoo but it's not as if no one knew that women have been and are sexually abused and harassed ALL THE TIME. 1/n— Nishita Jha (@NishSwish) October 16, 2017
+almost every women I know has been abused. As a child, as a teen, as an adult— Aparna Jain (@Aparna) October 16, 2017
#MeToo, but at this point, I'm wondering if it matters. How many voices, how many numbers, will it take for us to be significant?— Swati Nair (@swatinair) October 16, 2017
#Metoo— catsillarz (@csillars17) October 16, 2017
Watch a young girl walk home at night with her keys in between her fingers and fear in her eyes and tell me that this isn't a problem
Also, I hope the men supporting #metoo have the courage to stand up to the "bros" making offensive "jokes" &unwanted sexual advances— shomo (@shonahburns) October 16, 2017
One thing that was quite heartening about this Twitter trend was how inclusive it was.
I was raped when I was 15 and I never told anyone about it because I'm a guy and she's a girl and no one would've taken me seriously.#MeToo— Zeee (@zmoney911) October 16, 2017
Me too. I don’t know if means anything coming from a gay man but it’s happened. Multiple times.— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) October 15, 2017
Doesn’t matter if you are a man or women if you been sexually assaulted and raped speak out and seek help. You are not alone. #MeToo— Bindas Ladki (@bindasladki) October 16, 2017
Survivors who are black women, disabled, or a part of the LGBTQ community who are excluded out these conversations your story matters #MeToo— Venkayla Haynes (@VenkaylaHaynes) October 16, 2017
From what my mom told me is that I told the babysitter. She told my mom. My dad is still locked up to this day— CasperGourlay (@Kisatiger86) October 16, 2017
It means something I promise, sexual harassment is not OK for anyone.— Ms.SaRa PeZZiNi (@SaraPezResist) October 15, 2017
A number of people also said that the trend was heartbreaking and urged for change.
#MeToo is breaking my heart tonight. The pain so many have shared is devastating. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised. Just heartbroken.— Shelby Hall (@MissShelbyGail) October 16, 2017
If you are a man and reading the #MeToo hashtag makes you feel anything other than profound sadness and seething anger, you are the problem.— Frank The BOOnny (@DeadBunnyFrank) October 16, 2017
Men,— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) 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
Are you shocked at how many #MeToo stories you're seeing? That says a lot about you. Examine your behaviour & signals you send. Believe us.— Buddhini S (@DrHalfPintBuddy) October 16, 2017
Women to men.— Emily Pawluk (@emipaw) October 16, 2017
Men to women.
Women to women.
Men to men.
This happens daily.
HUMAN TO HUMAN.
It needs to stop.#MeToo