The most recent sexual harassment and assault scandal centers on Hollywood — but the problem extends far beyond California. Thanks in part to an online Twitter action in which thousands of women tweeted "Me too," the problem is part of a national conversation. If having to tweet and see #MeToo made you angry about the everyday harassment and abuse faced by women, you're not alone. Here's ways you can help, as suggested by experts and organizations who work on these issue every day.
The #MeToo hashtag grew from earlier actions following Rose McGowan's suspension from Twitter. One of the first knee-jerk responses was to boycott the social media service; however, others on Twitter decided that responding to someone being silenced with more silence was not the answer. Following that decision, activists decided to use the #WomenWhoRoar hashtag to speak out on sexual assault and harassmen; #MeToo grew from that.
On Sunday, the hashtag got a big boost when actress Alyssa Milano posted "Me too" on her Twitter profile with an explanation:
If all 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.
As of Monday morning, the tweet has been responded to at least 30,000 times with tens of thousands more retweeting or liking it. Without a doubt, the call for action was heard.
But surely more must be done. The scope of the problem is beyond comprehension: one in three women have been sexually harassed at work, and two-thirds have experienced street harassment. One in six has been raped or experienced an attempted rape. That is unacceptable, and the fact that it makes you mad is legitimate. Here are things you can do, in conjunction with some great organizations, to help end this and support survivors today.