hashtag used in October 2017 to denounce sexual assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein
The Me Too (or #MeToo) movement, with variations of related local or international names, is a movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicize allegations of sex crimes committed by powerful and/or prominent men. The phrase "Me Too" was initially used in this context on social media in 2006, on Myspace, by sexual harassment survivor and activist Tarana Burke.Similar to other social justice and empowerment movements based upon breaking silence, the purpose of "Me Too", as initially voiced by Burke as well as those who later adopted the tactic, is to empower women through empathy and solidarity through strength in numbers, especially young and vulnerable women, by visibly demonstrating how many women have survived sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.Following the exposure of the widespread sexual-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein in early October 2017, the movement began to spread virally as a hashtag on social media. On October 15, 2017, American actress Alyssa Milano posted on Twitter, "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem," saying that she got the idea from a friend. A number of high-profile posts and responses from American celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lawrence, and Uma Thurman, among others, soon followed.Widespread media coverage and discussion of sexual harassment, particularly in Hollywood, led to high-profile firings, as well as criticism and backlash.After millions of people started using the phrase and hashtag in this manner in English, the expression began to spread to dozens of other languages. The scope has become somewhat broader with this expansion, however, and Burke has more recently referred to it as an international movement for justice for marginalized people in marginalized communities.
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