From Upheaval to Action
2017, #MeToo, and what’s next for Uplift
2017 has been a year of upheaval. We’ve struggled as a country to face prejudices, violence, and discrimination against LGBTQIA individuals, people of color, religious minorities and nearly every other marginalized community. But so many of us have come together to fight back, proving that our strength is in our unity. Our willingness to question authority and fight for what is right will not be dampened.
From the historic Women’s March to the national surge in female candidates, women’s voices are louder than ever. And we were heard loud and clear as the #metoo movement gained momentum. Survivors were speaking out against the generations of sexual violence and harassment inflicted upon so many. Even those who are often forgotten when referencing survivors — trans and gender non-conforming individuals, others across the LGBTQIA spectrum, women of color, and men — began to speak out, though many did not feel welcome to do so. It’s a start but not an end and that’s why we must continue our work in 2018.
Within our own online communities, especially the YouTube community, we had our own #metoo reckoning in 2014. Great change came from the power of more than 70 survivors bravely coming forward and from all those who rallied around to support them. But our work is not done.
While we have spoken out against those who abuse their influence, power, and place in our communities, harm against many — particularly those whose voices are most often silenced — continues. We cannot be lulled into a sense of complacency, thinking that the corners we belong to are immune or that they do not need any improvement or conversation. Lack of vocal support for survivors combined with a failure to call out those who choose abuse will only hurt our communities and lead us back to where we were.
In 2018, let’s work together. Let’s work to keep sexual abuse and harassment as crucial topics of conversation. Let’s work to challenge the status quo so that complacency doesn’t replace action. And let’s work to call out all forms of abuse — whether familiar to us or not — so that no survivor is left alone and unsupported.
Change is possible but only if we refuse to back down. We must keep the #metoo movement going — not just IRL — but in every community we cherish.
Here’s to 2018.