I was a freshman in college when I first saw the viral hashtag float up on my Facebook feed. It wasn’t a reposted article, or some famous person I’d never met before. It was a friend from high school, and her story wouldn’t be the last.
Soon after a friend’s mom shared her story. An acquaintance just days after that. I took to searching about the movement and found Harvey. Then Kevin. Then Louis. And Aziz. And on and on it went for months.
There was now a litany of sinners that was all but consuming our social media platforms, laptop screens, and angry conversations in the dining hall. Through award shows and tiny classrooms somewhere in southeast Michigan, the cry reverberated: Me Too! Me Too! Me Too!
It’s been a year since every good person was wearing a pin or a black dress, and every bad person was banned from comedy clubs and condemned to orange jumpsuits. And still that movement stays close to my heart and the heart of many women and men throughout the world today.
Though it began as an outcry against Hollywood, the movement has spread to create positive change in many different communities. The National Domestic Workers Association gained more membership, from nannies to farmers, to demand dignity and fairness in their various domestic workplaces. In the world of sports medicine, Rachel Denhollander stepped up to accuse Larry Nassar of sexual abuse that encouraged over 250 other survivors to voice their trauma and get him arrested. Only a few weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released, exposing over 300 abusive Catholic priests within 6 dioceses. Finally, victims can speak out and voice their pain to an ever more attentive and acting audience.
In my own life, I have seen the fruits of these survivor’s bravery. It has inspired me to stand up against abuse and social injustice in my own environments. After #MeToo, I’ve had conversations with male family members about consent. I’ve read through parts of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and sought to understand what that means for my religion. I’ve sent emails emphasizing the pain that is caused by sexist and discriminatory comments from the leaders of organizations that I am a part of.
#MeToo showed me that there is corruption in every system with power. It showed me that people can be truly evil and selfish to obtain the things that they want. It showed me that people can suffer for so long in absolute silence. For these reasons, so many people are caught up in the web of this darkness and feel hopeless. Some even believe it went too far and contributed to call-out culture.
I am not lost in the darkness and you shouldn’t be either.
Hollywood is seeking to expand its inclusion of women both in front of and behind the camera. Women are demonstrating and speaking up. Workplaces are taking notice and people are going to jail. It should have been sooner, but it’s happening.
If you want to be inspired as I am you should sit and watch the Frances McDormand Speech and the Cannes Film Festival Demonstration, Kesha’s Grammy performance, Terry Crews’ speech to the Senate, Oprah’s powerful Golden Globes speech and the smiles on my incredibly strong friends faces that prove that we will no longer tolerate this behavior.
There is light coming if we never cease in fighting for truth and justice. We are building virtue, in our broken society, if we continue to cry out, stand up, and act. I hate that the actions of bad men have forced people to suffer for countless years.
I love this movement for the people it possesses and the power it re-claims.