More than 50 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, and even rape since the New York Times first published an article in early October detailing actress Ashley Judd’s allegations against the powerful Hollywood producer.
As the Weinstein news spread, the hashtag #MeToo caught fire after actress Alyssa 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.¨
In less than 24 hours, social media feeds were filled with millions of people using the hashtag, acknowledging that they too were sexual assault survivors.
Since then, hundreds of celebrities have used their platform to address the topic with their own experiences as well. Even 14-year-old Hollywood actor Finn Wolfhard recently announced he has cut ties with his agency. The “Stranger Things” star decided it was over, due to the claims of his former agent who was accused of sexually assaulting a large amount of young male actors.
Thus meaning, even though the focus of the #MeToo movement is based on women, the topic ultimately applies to all genders. However, thousands of men also confessed their participation in sexual harassment or assault with hashtags such as #YesIhave, #Itwasme, or #HowWillIChange.
However, the sexual assault and harassment issue is not confined to just Hollywood. Powerful politicians and journalists have been forced out of their jobs due to sexual harassment allegations.
World Citizens Club and Feminist Club collaborated on a survey for students to highlight the effects of sexual harassment and write their responses what happens here at CVHS.
“When I was in sixth grade a boy at my school texted me asking me for nudes. I wasn’t even talking to him at all it was just out of the blue. Though he was suspended for it, different rumors were spread all the way up to high school making me feel negatively about myself for a long time,” wrote one.
Fourteen students participated in the anonymous survey, and 93 percent (all but one) reported that either they or someone they knew had been affected by sexual assault or harassment.
“I get very nervous when it comes to being intimate, I’m always scared for some reason,” wrote a second anonymous student. “It makes me afraid to do simple things like walk home from the high school. If any events happen on campus at night I always ask for someone to drive me home. I feel as if I can’t wear what I want to wear because of the fear of being called a slut or getting the wrong message the someone will judge my body in a way that makes me uncomfortable. We live in an unfair society.”
Similar to a lot of social media activism, the Me Too Movement is not asking for immediate change or the beginning of a campaign; it is ultimately an attempt to bring awareness and concern to the ongoing epidemic. However, the survey includes students arguing that it is hard to bring awareness on campus because it so normal to feel unsafe.
“In one of my classes there was unwanted touching and comments made to me about how I identify myself. I felt uncomfortable and it was a struggle to keep up with my classwork, ultimately making me feel like I was in an unsafe environment. Sure it does not compare to other horrible experiences, but the harassments were made based on my failure to conform to gender stereotypes,” wrote a third anonymous student.
“The topic is something a lot of people look over, and it created an outlet for people all over the world share their stories and show others that they are not alone in the tragedies of sexual assault,” said WCC club president Marbella Daniel.