When it comes to hashtags with staying power, it looks like #MeToo is the current front runner. Millions of people have used the hashtag to post their stories of sexual harassment and assault over the past couple of months, inspired in part by actress Rose McGowan's coming forward to share her story of alleged rape by Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein. And now woman-led publisher Riverdale Avenue Books has given survivors another medium through which to tell their stories with their free e-book #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How to Make Sure it Never Happens Again.
McGowan's confession and the resulting hashtag was an opening of the floodgates for people hoping to incite change by coming forward with their own stories. And come foward they have. Men like actor Kevin Spacey, politican Al Franken, Brand New lead singer Jesse Lacey, and Today Show news anchor Matt Lauer have all been accused of alleged sexual misconduct, harassment or abuse. As new revelations break day after day, many hope this will be a turning point for those who have felt powerless in the face of this atmosphere of sexual impropriety, particularly in the workplace.
This is an historic moment and it needs to be memorialized, passed around and passed on. Although social media is a fantastic means of igniting a fire, it needs to keep burning, like a torch. And Riverdale Avenue Books is putting its money, words and power, behind this by publishing this collection of 26 essays from people who understand want to make this change.
“While I was encouraging everyone to speak up and do something about #MeToo, I realized I have a publishing company, I can publish a book." said Publisher and Editor Lori Perkins in a statement. “This is a historic moment and it needs to be memorialized, passed around and passed on. Although social media is a fantastic means of igniting a fire, it needs to keep burning, like a torch.
The collection features pieces from various men and women (columnists, authors, students and more) all sharing personal recollections and calls to arms to fight against the tide of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond. It is a book that Riverdale Avenue Books hopes will be passed around from parents to kids, co-workers to friends. So they're making it really easy to do just that by offering the e-book for free on their website. You can also grab a physical copy for $6.99.
If you want to ensure that this movement is more than just a social media hashtag that promises to disappear with the next big news scandal, this book (and others like it) detailing the real lives of men and women who have lived with sexual assault is one of the best places to start.