If you're not familiar with the hashtag #metoo trending all over social media, you must be living under a rock. Last week, we checked our Facebooks, Instagrams, and Twitter timelines only to find women all over the world acknowledging that they have been victims of sexual harassment and assault. Some women shared their stories, and others just simply posted #metoo and even that was enough to get the picture. The movement was sparked by actress Alyssa Milano with a Twitter post last Sunday morning.
"Actors including Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Evan Rachel Wood joined in. The writer Alexis Benveniste used it to remind people that the messages they were seeing were only the tip of the iceberg. For every woman stating her own experiences out loud, there were likely just as many choosing not to do so." - The Atlantic
The goal of the movement was to raise awareness of the magnitude of the issue. Sexual assault and harrassment is often a silenced topic and is swept under the run. #MeToo is a movement of survivors sharing their stories in order to express the magnitude of sexual assault.
This week, Condé Nast international announced that they are cutting ties with photographer Terry Richardson. Executive vice-president James Woodhouse instructed his staff at Condé Nast International that the company would no longer be working with “controversial” fashion photographer Terry Richardson.
A handful of women have alleged that the photographer has propositioned them for sex, touched them without consent, and has even gotten naked at photoshoots since 2010. It's been seven years since writer Jamie Peck spoke out about her haunting experience with the photographer. Long story short, he asked her to model for a shoot. The first shoot went ehh...okay. The next shoot he just went full-blown psycho creep on her After he threw around celebrity names to impress the new model and invited her to an upcoming soiree, he whipped out his dick and asked her for a handjob. She was only nineteen years old. So, why did it take seven years for publications and brands to cut ties and call out this creep on his bullshit?
This type of behavior from men with power and influence seems like it's been "okay" because nobody's doing a damn thing about it. For more than a week, social media has been filled with stories told by women about their interactions with the producer Harvey Weinstein, accusations that range from verbal coercion to rape. So, women have spoken up in the past, but now these creeps are starting to reap what they sow. Is it because we as women are making it known that this shit doesn't happen once in a blue moon, but is a problem that women deal with every single day?
Unlike other hashtags and social media movements created as a call to action or the beginning of a campaign, #MeToo was created as an attempt to get people to understand the magnitude of the issue of sexual assault and harassment in society. Not only have women came forth with their stories, but men have come forth admitting that they too have contributed to the issue. If you've been a victim of rape, catcalling, groping, "revenge porn", and slut-shaming please leave a comment under this article with #metoo and feel free to share your stories so this movement doesn't go silent.