Oct 18th, 2017, 04:29 PM


By Savannah Hunter
Image Credit: Aurelien Morissard
Standing in solidarity with #MeToo.

Alyssa Milano said, #MeToo when allegations against Harvey Weinstein came out. Sandra Muller said #BalanceTonPorc (Expose your pig) in response to a French executive who made inappropriate comments about her body. It does not stop there. Celebrities are coming out of the woodwork sharing their own stories of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of Weinstein and/or other men in Hollywood. Milano suggested women use this hashtag in order to raise awareness of the magnitude of sexual assault. As the New Yorker described it, this hashtag has become a "Post-Weinstein megaphone of social media."

This hashtag is not just for celebrity women but everyday people. The people you see on the metro, who sit next to you in class, who live in the same house as you are changing their statuses in solidarity. Women and men everywhere are sharing their own #MeToo stories. Brigitte Macron, the French first lady, expressed her pride for the female victims for coming out and sharing their stories. She’s no stranger to this as the United States President, Donald Trump, made comments about her physical appearance upon meeting her in July of 2017. The fact that the leader of the free world had the audacity to make a comment like he did to a woman, to anyone, is the reason why this narrative is so important.

In France, there have been discussions about making laws against catcalling on the street. This gets rid of the stigma that it is a normal and okay thing to do. This is letting the public know that not only is it wrong, but it is illegal as well. It has become a sad fact of life that women cannot go through life without being harassed. It's even sadder to think that the second a woman steps onto a college campus that she has to be warned of men invading her space and her body.  Daughters, mothers, co-workers, friends, and family are speaking out and calling out their aggressors for what they did. The most saddening aspect of it is that a lot of women who have come out and spoken out against have mentioned that it took them a while to admit to themselves that they were sexually assaulted. 

It has become a sad fact of life that women cannot go through life without being harassed.

In response, people have posted #IBelieveYou and men started the hashtag #HowIWillChange. They are beginning to recognize that part of the problem has been denying stories. It has become second nature to men to sit there and say a woman is lying when she says a man grabbed her ass in passing or that her boyfriend sexually assaulted her. Media has shown us that on average, men are believed much more women.

Image Credit: Unsplash

People have responded saying, “If this is so common why do we not hear about it more? If it is so common, why is not reported more?" The question is always why attempt to take some of the blame away from the aggressors? There are so many questions attempting to invalidate what women are saying and it is disgusting. If this issue is going to be fixed, going to go away, then it needs to be addressed. Believe the victims. Trust that they are not attempting to play deceive. This movement is meant to call aggressors out, make the men and women affected realize it is not their fault, and to have people change their ways.

Instead of telling our women, "watch what you wear and what you do," let us start telling our men do not sexually violate anyone. Instead of saying #MeToo, let’s start saying #HowIWillChange. In a New York Times article, Christophe Noel, a labor lawyer was quoted as saying, “Denouncing sexual harassment on a social network with a hashtag isn’t the appropriate place at all. It can be rebound onto the accuser and create an open door to excesses and defamation.” Is that really the issue here? Protecting the character of someone who has sexually assaulted others? These are the kind of responses that warrant the #MeToo movement.