In honor of Boss Lady Kim Bode’s birthday today, our team made a donation in her honor to #MeToo, an organization that our office is incredibly passionate about.
In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing. Using the idea of “empowerment through empathy,” the #MeToo movement was ultimately created to ensure survivors know they’re not alone in their journey.
On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged people to spread the hashtag “#MeToo”, as part of an awareness campaign in order to reveal the prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment. Milano tweeted: “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.”
What can be learned from #MeToo? A lot, especially if you work within the communications field. While social media is often given a bad rap, it is incredibly powerful. What can social media accomplish?
It Can Question Social Norms
In the wake of #MeToo, many countries such as the U.S., India, France, China, Japan, and Italy, have seen discussion in the media on whether cultural norms need to be changed in order for sexual harassment to be eradicated in the workplace. How is appropriate behavior defined? And, who made that definition? It’s time to evaluate, update, and demand better.
It Can Rapidly Create Conversation that Can’t Be Ignored
The power of #MeToo was swift. Seemingly overnight, newsfeeds were flooded with people around the world sharing their experiences or just the hashtag alone. How can something so pervasive be ignored? Simply put: it can’t. Gone are the excuses – “it’s not that big of a problem”, “it doesn’t happen to that many”, or “this isn’t something that affects me”. It’s everywhere. And we are not just talking, we are taking action.
It Can Make People Feel Less Alone
Can social media create a space for people to be bullied? Yes. Can it also create a space for people to feel less alone? Absolutely. People around the world bravely raised their hands and shared their stories, inspiring others to do the same. Knowing that you are not alone when you are hurting is so crucial to moving forward in healing.
More importantly: #MeToo is about so much more than just a trending hashtag. This incredibly important work is an inspiration to us all, and there is so much to be learned by Ms. Burke’s courageous efforts.Will you please join us in supporting this critical work? Make a donation today.