After #MeToo, A Movement Continues

Photo Credit: Hartford Courant

#MeToo, started a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke who was looking to inspire “empowerment through empathy,” was reignited by Alyssa Milano in light of a new moment of victims of sexual assault and harassment coming forward with their stories in the wake of Harvey Weinstein allegations.

But can #MeToo lead to real change?

For more than a million people around the world taking action on the Change.org platform from France to the UK to the US, the answer is yes.

This week, we proudly provided an important catalyst for campaign victories that send an important message to sexual predators that there will be consequences for their actions:

  • University of Southern California student Tiana Lowe won a swift victory with 599 signatures after demanding the school return Harvey Weinstein’s $5 million dollar “blood money.”
  • In the UK, Kellen Phillips started a petition asking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the organization that awards the Oscars — to make the rare decision to remove Weinstein as a member and won with more than 140,000 signatures.
  • In California, a Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights was signed into law, giving sexual assault survivors greater protections and access to justice.

As inspired as we are by the work of the hardworking campaigners, activists and brave survivors who have moved the #MeToo movement forward, unfortunately, we also now know more about the magnitude of the problem. In the U.S., according to CNN, the hashtag had been used 825,000 times between noon on Sunday and Tuesday afternoon. There were 12 million posts on Facebook.

Harvard researchers have highlighted Change.org’s unique design as one that enables women to have greater efficacy organizing online around the globe. Simply put: Women are not powerless. We’ve seen this week how true that is. Here are a few other campaigns meant to protect women, to make sure that we can one day put an end to the meme #MeToo, once and for all:

In an ideal world, #MeToo wouldn’t be necessary. As the movement continues, maybe we can create a world where we can render it futile, once and for all.

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