#MeToo: more than just a trend on Twitter

%23MeToo%3A+more+than+just+a+trend+on+Twitter

Mia Boudreau, Reporter

Women rallied on Twitter using the hashtag #MeToo to raise awareness about sexual assault and harassment. Soon after allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, women, and some men, began speaking up about their own experiences with sexual assault through Twitter.

“Me Too. Suggested by a friend: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me Too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet” actress Alyssa Milano tweeted  as a backlash to sexual assault, on October 15th.

Not long after Milano’s tweet, hundreds of replies were tweeted from women sharing their stories using the hashtag #MeToo. Among Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, President Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Lewis C.K., Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore, Colorado Lawmaker Steve Lebsock, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Cosby have also been recently accused of sexual assault or harassment; but, this issue does not only surround celebrities.

“The #metoo hashtag has been powerful in getting sexual harassment and sexual assault out in the open” Maura Doherty-Demko, executive director of Durango SASO (Sexual Assault Services Organization), said.

We live in a culture too accepting of sexual harassment. For example,  ‘What was she wearing?’ has become an attempt at an excuse for the perpetrator. Woman have been assaulted regardless of what clothing they were wearing. Often times, women get blamed for being assaulted or harassed, and this is only some of the stigma surrounding this issue.

“If nobody talks about [sexual assault and harassment] then nothing changes.” said DHS Fr. Bryn Valdez.

One suggestion to starting to solve this problem is by making it “more ill-thought of to be someone who does this…because at the end of the day, people still do it because they know they are not going to have consequences” said Fr. Bryn Valdez.

Sexual assault is an issue that has always been present, but it only occasionally gains exposure when people decide to talk about it. #MeToo is one way that awareness is being raised about sexual assault and harassment, we just need to keep the conversation going.

#MeToo is important because it is showing people “how often it [sexual assault] happens…and how it can happen to literally anyone”said an anonymous DHS student.

Unfortunately sexual assault is a recurring problem in our society and has been for a very long time. It can happen to anybody, at anytime, no matter the circumstances. The victim is not to blame.

Young girls should remember to “Be strong. Be you. You have every right to be in your body and expect that… others do not touch you unless you choose it… know it is okay to call sexual harassment and assault out. Have confidence. Talk about sexual harassment… Make this world better. Create a new norm- and live it” said Maura Doherty-Demko of SASO.

Sexual assault is a worldwide issue that won’t solve itself. #MeToo is only a start at remedying the problem.

Like other news publications that have broke stories on sexual assault, El Diablo is an outlet for you to share your experiences with sexual assault or harassment. We welcome your voice, email us at eldiablenews@gmail.com or contact a staff member.

If you or someone you know is struggling or needs help dealing with sexual assault or harassment, Durango SASO has a 24/7 hotline: 970-247-5400 (free and confidential), or RAINN has a national 24/7 hotline 800-656-4673 (free and confidential).