#MeToo – The Importance of Speaking Up
Natali Al Jundy
There are many ways for one to raise awareness for the various ongoing issues in the world. One of them is to utilize social media as a platform. #MeToo is a hashtag that spread virally in October 2017, as a means of raising awareness at the prevalence of sexual assault in the world, and especially in the workplace.
It was created by Tarana Burke and increased in popularity after sexual allegations were made against Harvey Weinstein, with the main purpose of showing all victims of sexual assault that they are not alone. The cause is said to focus on sexual harassment in the workplace because of its increasing occurrence and the lack of awareness towards the issue. There are examples that apply to every person’s situation worldwide: In the United States, as of 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that out of the 25-85% of women who report sexual harassment at work, few actually report the incidents. More shockingly, in Japan, as few as 4% of rape victims report the crime at all, and the charges are dropped most of the time.
These shocking facts are the reason why celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Reese Witherspoon chose to speak out about their experience with sexual abuse in the entertainment industry. These facts are the reason why the hashtag has spread to an immeasurable degree once it became clear that we are undeniably surrounded by victims of sexual assault and encounter them on a day to day basis.