12 Women Who Shared #MeToo Stories On Social Media Share The Interactions That It Inspired
It didn't take long for the #MeToo hashtag to go viral. On Sunday, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note to her followers, asking anyone who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to reply to the post "to give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem." While the #MeToo hashtag actually has a long history of representing people who have endured sexual assault on social media, in the last week, it has become a bigger phenomenon than ever; by Monday, hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, had flooded social media with posts about their experiences with sexual abuse. Some men joined in by tweeting #HowIWillChange, promising to take responsibility for participating in rape culture. In just a few days, it's safe to say that #MeToo has grown into a bona fide movement demonstrating just how far the problem with sexual abuse goes in society.
But like #ShoutYourAbortion and #WhyIStayed, some women have used the hashtag to share deeply personal stories — experiences with rape, assault, and domestic abuse — in a public fashion. On Tuesday, one Reddit user asked women how others have responded to their #MeToo posts, and it opened up a discussion about how society treats sexual abuse in the modern day. (Believe it or not, some of the responses will restore your faith in humanity.) You can check out the entire thread on Reddit, but the highlights are below.
1. Missing The Point
Pro tip: When someone shares a story about sexual harassment, don't dismiss it just because you haven't experienced the same thing.
2. Presenting The Nominee For Best Dad
After her #MeToo post, this Reddit user's father called to make sure she was safe. While this does bring up a relevant concern about men only being concerned about women's issues seeing it through the lens of "as a father of a daughter," it's heartening to know that people are taking these stories to heart.
3. Silent Support
Many posts have been met with an outpouring of support from friends and family.
4. A Lack Of Self-Awareness
In a later comment, the user explained that the man she had been thinking of when she created her post was a high school acquaintance who was "not predatory, but made [her] uncomfortable several times." (She added that he is a "great guy" these days.) Unfortunately, this is far from the first time someone was unaware that they were part of the problem.
5. Silencing Men
Although this user didn't post a status themselves, they brought up an interesting point. The response to #MeToo has largely come from women. While this is in part because women are more likely to be harassed or assaulted, it may also have to do with the social pressure for male assault victims to conceal their pain.
That's going to be a hard no from me, lady. The world doesn't need rapists and harassers.
7. Keeping Details To The Minimum
While many people have used the hashtag as an opportunity to talk about their experiences in detail, it's not necessary. Sometimes, it's enough to know that other people have gone through something similar.
8. Par For The Course
When harassment is par for the course in certain occupations, you know society has a problem.
9. Public Apologies
Here's hoping these men reconsider the way they treat others in the future.
10. Pure Sympathy
It's safe to say similar outpourings of sympathy are the reason #MeToo grew so quickly in the first place.
11. Time To Purge The Friends List
If someone's response to sexual abuse makes you wonder why you're friends with them, it's probably a sign they're not your friend at all.
12. No Regrets
Thanks to this user's post, more people in the world will take sexual assault and harassment more seriously. The burden of educating others shouldn't be on women, of course — but in this user's case, it was worth saying #MeToo.