Two words that started flooding social media on Sunday, Oct. 15. Two words with more power behind them than most of the words posted in the entirety of that evening.
These words stemmed from the sexual assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein, leading to Weinstein being kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday, Oct. 14, according to Huffington Post.
Many celebrities used the momentum from the allegations to their advantage by advocating for women all around the world who have been sexually abused.
Out of the many celebrities, Alyssa Milano received the most traction when she shared Tarana Burke’s social media campaign, #MeToo. This campaign was created by Burke in 2007 but did not receive the hype that it needed until Milano shared it to her fans on Sunday, Oct. 15.
By Monday Oct. 16, close to 40,000 people had replied to Milano’s “me too” tweet, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Many articles and posts about the issue were already made by Monday morning, one being an opinion article entitled, “The Problem With Asking Women to Say ‘Me Too,’” published on Huffington Post.
The article generalized men as a whole and did not acknowledge the men that “me too’ is not about.
“Men have a long history of silencing or discounting women who speak up about sexual violence,” according to the article.
‘Me too’ brought on the question, when did it ever become OK for us to sexually abuse another person? But when did generalizing men as a whole ever become the solution to it?
We should acknowledge the disgusting sexual abuse crimes Weinstein and many others committed and not discount the severity of those crimes. However, instead of generalizing men, we should encourage men to help educate the future on how to prevent such crimes from happening. We need to recognize that not all men are like Weinstein.
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, an event called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” was held to raise awareness for domestic violence and sexual assault last Thursday, Oct. 19, according to wbay.com.
“This is the fifth year of the event,” according to wbay.com. “Men are asked to walk one mile in high heels to support victims and raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual assault.”
This event is an example of men joining forces to help raise awareness and stand by women in their fight to end sexual violence.
Why have prestigious news outlets have not picked up this story? Instead, they publish stories generalizing men as a whole.
Yes, some men like Weinstein have committed sexual abuse crimes, but this does not mean we should generalize all men as being like him when there are many men who support women in this battle.
According to ajc.com, many men took to Twitter to kick-start a response to women’s #MeToo, saying #IBelieveYou.
“Rather than ‘protecting’ your mothers, daughters, & sisters, teach your sons, fathers, & brothers how to be better men. #MeToo #ibelieveyou,” @sahluwal, one of the many men who showed their support, tweeted.
This brought thousands of men to Twitter, sharing what they will do to commit to ending sexual violence against women, according to Huffington Post.
“It can be extremely difficult for survivors to come forward and share their story. They may feel ashamed, concerned that they won’t be believed, or worried they’ll be blamed,” the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) shared on its website.
This is why #IBelieveYou brings so much positivity and support to those struggling.
In order to educate future generations how to prevent sexual violence, we must first raise awareness of such crimes. Men who are willing to recognize the issue at hand are the people who are going to raise that awareness in the next generation of men.
According to Huffington Post, Hollywood director Paul Fieg called men out after allegations of Weinstein surfaced. Fieg challenged all men to speak up and support women in this movement to eradicate sexual violence.
“These women are enormously brave for coming out, and I know this is the hardest thing in the world to come out like this, and it’s great,” Fieg said in an interview with Huffington Post. “But they can’t do it alone. They need men speaking out.”
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 91 percent of the victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9 percent are male. Although this statistics seem to point fingers at men, this does not mean all men to blame.
Men, this is why women want you to speak out. Women want you to fight with them. Women want you to help them. Our #MeToo stories will not rid this world of the things happening around us. However, how you respond to them will.
Women, we should not blame every single man for the sexual violence around us. We need to come together with those men who are willing and ready to fight to help end sexual violence for good.