The impact of #MeToo Research Paper



Thousands of women all over the world dealing with the same trauma of sexual assault. Feeling ashamed or scared to speak up silences the women, causing them more pain. The #metoo movement is a movement started in 2006 by sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke. The movement is an internet community formed to help other women prevail through their trauma. The hashtag gained a lot of popularity in October of 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano encouraged millions of women to say #metoo. Going from 200,000 by the end of the day, the hashtag amassed 12 million Twitter posts in 24 hours, the hashtag went viral. Millions of women coming together to endure the burden of sexual assault together. The #metoo movement has come a very long way since 2006, and still has a very long way to go. This movement will lead to meaningful change if the #metoo movement continues building a stronger community, raising more awareness about the effects of sexual assaul and how detrimental it it causing drastic effects, and also having the countries come together to protect the women and fight against sexual assault. 

The #metoo movement has created a very strong sense of community including women not only from America, but all over the world. For the movement to lead to meaningful change, there needs to be a stronger sense of community. Source C helps to highlight the communal aspect for the movement, by using a quote that helped to highlight how important community was. “ It’s empowering to have other women there with me and not having to be out there alone, I’m encouraged by the calls I received saying ‘ I don't know how to help but I want to help.” This quote expresses that having other women to help you can be very encouraging, and gives them a sense of empowerment having to not speak up alone. If we want people to speak out with us, we have to do the same for the millions of other women. Having a community to stand with you, while speaking out against sexual harassment is effective. Some women feel ashamed, or scared to speak out against their experiences with sexual assault. Having a large group of women who have been through similar situations, will understand your feelings more in depth. It can help to provide a sense of comfort, knowing that you are indeed not alone which is the entire cause and meaning of the #metoo movement. In order to keep making changes , women have to understand more in depth how community is very essential, and they have to be the start for future generations to inherit the same mindset.

Sexual assault can cause alot of physical damage, but even deeper than that it can lead to life-changing mental illnesses. Sexual assault is an act of stealing someones body, you are taking something that rightfully belongs to them, without their consent. There are many different forms of sexual assault, but they can all afect your life, even in the smallest way. In source D actress Viola Davis explains her own survival from being sexualy assaulted, and the long lasting effects it can have. She describes the lasting effects to be “ Depression, eating disorders, and even suicidal thoughts, rape is often described as “ a death.” On the journey to becoming a survivor it can be a long, and dreadful road. Even though some women do seek therapy after sexual assault, more then likely they will not. Viola explains that women will not seek help “Because they're going to be stigmatized, stigmatized as being dirty, stigmatized as being overly strong, stigmatized as being not worthy at all.” This shows that even trying to seek help can be difficult, and the fear or being judged lessens the willingfulness to see therapy. With fear of being judged and not going to therapy helps to add to the future mental illness a survivor might develop. Having such a prominent actor speak about her journey of surviving, and speak on the effects of sexual assault can bring alot of awareness to the situation. Many people overlook the aftermath of rape, or assume that it will quickly wear off. By explaining to people the detrimental effects it can have on someone's life it can help to educate others, causing more people to be sympathetic, and understand how damaging it is. 

Unity is an imperative contribution to making a more meaningful impact. The #metoo movement can ultimately lead to a more meaningful change if the world came together, and helped to protect the people in the country. Not only will it help with protecting the women, but it will also help to make the citizens more aware of the situation, potentially becoming advocates. Source G explains how the Swedish government has become active advocates for the movement and has made laws to protect people from sexual assault. Many other Nordic countries that have high rankings for gender equality also have spoken out contributing to the movement. The swedish government proposed tightening its rape law to stipulate that explicit consent is required before sexual contact. By tightening their laws Sweden is standing in solidarity with the victims of sexual assault, and trying to help prevent situtions of sexual assault in the future. Source G also gives an example of some countries that are more closed off to the spread of the movement in their country. In China the discussion of #MeToo has been censored on social media, with China branding it as “Destabilizing foreign movement.” In other countries that have weaker support systems for sexual assault reports, there also is a very low impact of the #metoo movement. Although every country has not been exposed to the movement, it is important to try and spread as much awareness. Similar to having an internet community for the other woman, having many different countries speaking out on the movement will just create a strong impact. 

The #MeToo movement has already made a lot of progress from the first tweet in 2017, bringing much more awareness to sexual assault. Thousands of women all over the world share their stories of their trauma,  putting together two simple words created a backstory of women standing in solidarity with each other, and caring for another even being countries away. Constructing changes that would forever impact the world, influencing the young women of future generations to continue to advocate for their rights. Even though the movement has come substantially far, there is still always room for improvement. If the #MeToo movement continues to build a stronger community, raise awareness of the effects of sexual assault, and build unity amongst the countries, surely the #MeToo movement can spread exponentially. Even if not now, hopefully one day we can see the meaningful impact these women have worked so hard for.