#metoo — the social media campaign that arose in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations by over a dozen women in Hollywood, has garnered a wealth of attention. Thousands of women continue to post #metoo, revealing one of the most darkest truths of our world — 1 in 4 women experience sexual assault. The survivors who have come forth are brave and strong. Yet, will #metoo merely just exist as a hashtag?
The problem with #metoo is that everyone already knows that 1 in 4 women experience sexual assault. We’ve had countless campaigns, marches, and reports from survivors, organizations, and centers across the world. We know. We all know. Our campaigns can’t just be about raising awareness about the statistics — we have to campaign to challenge and change the policies, rules, and regulations about sexual assault in our communities and society. Otherwise, we will just remain as a hashtag.
Courts protect rapists. Survivors are stigmatized. Mental health resources for survivors are practically non-existent. Our leaders continue to ignore survivors because they don’t care — they don’t care about justice, they care about catering to the men who fill their pockets and campaign for them during elections.
And we have to change the way society thinks. In every city, town, and community — prostitution and pornography are thriving industries. Some will say that these “professions” are “empowering” for women… these industries were built by men for men. 50 Shades of Grey is one of the best-selling “romance” novels in our day — there’s nothing romantic about abusive relationships. Not all women stand for each other — many slut-shame each other and turn a blind eye to sexual assault victims due to religious, cultural, or societal taboos. We will continue to support and enjoy the actors and movies and musicians and brands that endorse the sexual objectification of women and girls. If we want change, we have to stand as one, recognize our own thoughts and actions, and fight in the media, courts, governments, and systems.
We need rights. We need resources. We need change.