The power of “me too”

me too
By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer

This past week, in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, the internet trend “me too” has garnered a lot of attention. Women who have survived sexual assault and harassment have been creating posts on social media sitess with the caption “me too,” signifying that they have struggled with sexual assault and that others who have endured abuse are not alone.

The trend was created in order to shed light on the growing problem of sexual assault and harassment in the United States. It was also meant to give survivors a voice as well as to receive support from those around them.

Not to mention, when a person is dealing with negative feelings , it can be very easy to believe that they are alone and that they are the only person facing the challenges.

However, the fact is that people across America have to face these sad realities, and this movement went a long way in showing survivors they are not alone in their struggle.

These simple posts also serve as a wake-up call to America. In case anyone forgot, sexual abuse as well as harassment is, was, and continues to be a problem that far too many women must face.

As a nation, we also have an extremely tough time getting the proper support for these victims and are unable to help them heal from the emotional scars left by their traumatic experiences.

This movement might just seem like another internet fad. However, to so many this is  much more. This is a chance to leave those lonely feelings in the dark where they belong, and for these survivors to know they are not alone.

I can’t even imagine what these individuals go through on a daily basis, but I can certainly find comfort in the fact that we are making strides in helping them heal.

So many women live in shame and fear because of their assault, which, in turn, causes them to never face what happened to them.

Knowing this brings tears to my eyes. These women carry the weight of these events, but are too ashamed to even tell those closest to them. I truly believe “me too” can be a way to prove to these women they have nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s no secret that many victims blame themselves for what happened and if one were to hear the way some people in this country discuss sexual assault, it is absolutely no shock why.

Also, with so many powerful people feeling free to assault whoever they please with little repercussions, see Weinstein, Cosby, and a slew of athletes, its simple to see why “me too” is so important.

I think this movement also sends a message to these assaulters that their behavior is disgusting and deplorable. Patriarchy may exist in American society and rape culture probably won’t die anytime soon, but things like “me too” are the things we need to help fight against it.

I don’t think I’ll be a mom anytime soon, however I want my future daughter to live in a world where we don’t need things like this movement for sexual assault victims to feel safe and heard.That is why I want this movement to continue and I want others similar in nature to be generated from it.

It is sad that it took something like the Weinstein scandal to open up a discourse about sexual assault and harassment. However, we cannot stop this discussion when Weinstein leaves the news.

Just because his story won’t be front page news in a month doesn’t mean that sexual assault isn’t still happening. It doesn’t mean that there are not still victims that need help as well as support.

I guess what I am trying to say is: don’t let “me too” die and don’t think it is enough, because if we as a society don’t step up and combat sexual assault, then who will?

Photo Courtesy: salon.com

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