By: Meghana Somsaale
The first reason the #MeToo movement was successful is that it did not have any socioeconomic boundaries. Why is that? Social media. Social media is the new “word of mouth” in that when person shared her story, it gave other impacted people an opportunity to speak out. It did not matter whether the survivor was a rich celebrity in Hollywood or a woman working three jobs; the class someone belonged to did not matter. This is important to recognize because it shows that one person’s story did not matter more than another person’s story. They are all part of this journey together to bring awareness towards a prevalent issue.
The #MeToo movement was also successful because it transcended geographical boundaries. Why is that? Social media. Again. Even though this movement geographically started in Hollywood, California, it spread across the country because social media allowed the stories to be seen across the country. This movement’s platform helped raise the topic of sexual harassment and violence in more conservative towns in order to get the conversation started.
This movement has also gained a significant amount of traction because it has the face of famous celebrities who were victims of sexual harassment and violence. For example, Rose McGowan and Tarana Burke are two celebrity examples who have used their experience and their presence in the world to continue propagating this movement by addressing the topic in interviews, shows, magazines, and books. And, at the Oscars, actors and actresses showed the public that they too were no longer going to stand for the current climate by wearing black.
Above all, I truly see this movement as successful because it gave women a community to be a part of. The goal of this movement was not to raise money, change the legislation, or anything else. The goal of this movement was to simply give people a sense of the magnitude of this issue and give this problem the attention that it deserved. As a result, individuals finally opened up about their stories and no longer felt that they were alone in this battle. They no longer hid it from family and friends. They were given the opportunity to feel brave and share something that affected them. #MeToo is successful and will continue to be successful. Its social media platform, which transcends SES and geographical boundaries, creates a community and a place where finally, there is adequate attention given to this problem.
Image: Gilbert, Sophie. “The Movement of #MeToo.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 16 Oct. 2017, www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/10/the-movement-of-metoo/542979/.