In the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations, social media platforms have been overwhelmed by two simple words: “Me Too.”
It began when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted “Suggested by a friend: if all the women who have been sexually harassed or wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a replay to this tweet,” she wrote on Sunday.
The response was viral.
A chorus of women and some men joined in the #MeToo trend to share their personal experiences with sexual harassment. Celebrities like Anna Paquin, Debra Messing, and Javier Muñoz spoke out as well. Milano’s former co-worker, Rose McGowan, has alleged that Harvey Weinstein raped her.
More than two dozen famous women, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have made similar allegations of rape and sexual harassment perpetrated by Weinstein.
On Monday, Twitter confirmed that #MeToo had been tweeted more than half a million times.
It’s very difficult to prove someone guilty of sexual harassment years after the fact.
That does not always mean that perpetrators like Weinstein get away with it. Incidents involving celebrities are often resolved in the court of public opinion. For example, Weinstein has already been completely ostracized from public circles and is unlikely to ever work in Hollywood again.
That said, for every Harvey Weinstein there’s a thousand faceless Joes.
In 2011, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that “nearly 20% of all women” in the United States suffered attempted rape or rape sometime in their life – more than a third which were raped before the age of 18.
The vast majority of rape cases go unreported. Those that are face an uphill legal battle for state prosecutors to get a conviction.
The legal definition of rape and the circumstances of it must be just right, and the evidence must be overwhelming.
The issue of sexual harassment has never been a politically solvent one for either party.
Republicans usually face the brunt of feminists’ ire because of their socially conservative agenda. New-age conservatives, especially those who are young women, attempt to combat this perception by promoting female gun ownership.
Democrats have the advantage on this issue because of their utilization of identity politics. Their favor towards workers unions and pro-choice agenda have made them popular with modern feminists.
Of course, Harvey Weinstein is widely associated with the Democrats. So is Hollywood.
Leftism is very prevalent among the red carpet elite – especially when President Donald Trump is the focus of their boos.
The correlation between Weinstein’s Democratic ties became very obvious when even Hillary Clinton took five whole days to condemn him.
It is unclear whether or not Milano’s movement will lead to policy aimed at curbing Sexual Harassment in America. Because the issue is so legally complex, not one lawmaker seems eager to take a stab at it.
Sometimes it’s just easier to blame the other side.