The Me too movement formation
The Me too movement formation was triggered by the experiences of Tarana Burke. She spearheaded its activities after the establishment in 2006 due to the sexual violence she underwent and survived. Her motivation to form the group was also to represent other women from marginalized groups that went through similar experiences but without the voice to speak out. The vision of the movement from the beginning was to address sexual harassment issues and to curb sexual violence in the communities. During its emergence as a grass-root organization, Tarana’s expectation was to reach a global level and show the impact of sexual harassment on young women in their communities.
The Me Too Movement has grown significantly over the years to address the visions of its formation. These include reaching out to survivors, providing resources for the healing of the victims, offering a global platform for the conversation about sexual violence and to advocate against sexual harassment. A reported number of approximately a thousand unattended sexual harassment incidences take place yearly in different communities (Russell, 2015).
The social movement had participants who were mostly survivors of sexual violence and other women activists from marginalized backgrounds. As time progressed and the movement gained popularity through social media platforms, the number of people increased. The increase in the number of participants mostly recruited online through the hashtag Me too led to awareness creation. Since there were a considerable number of young girls still undergoing sexual harassment, Tarana Burke understood there was still a need to reach out more. She, therefore, formed a culturally-based curriculum to help the victims relate better in their society and come out in solidarity. The presence of stigmatization was a significant problem for most of the victims in their respective communities; thus, the need to interact culturally was a major boost for the movement.
The organization of the Me too movement grew gradually through social media awareness. Tarana burke’s main aim was to help victims of sexual assault deal with the pain and get healed. Sexual assault is a major problem, especially against women of color and has various effects. These include post-traumatic disorders, infertility in the society, rise in the number of school dropouts, and general loss of lives and dignity of humanity. These are some of the major problems Tarana sought to deal with when the organization was brought to the attention of the world through social media.
Sexual assault against women is not acceptable, but there are still cases in different parts of the world. The movement has taken long strides in ensuring the women undergoing sexual harassment speak out. Although cases of sexual perpetration are often characterized by those in powerful positions, the Me Too movement follows the proper channels to ensure those responsible are brought to book. Through this, the cases of sexually assaulted women reduce significantly.
The goal of the movement
The main goal of the movement was to help women and the survivors of sexual assault heal. The most frequent victims of sexual assault are young women and girls. 82 % of all juvenile victims of sexual assault are female, while 90% of adult rape victims are female (Berdahl, 2013). The movement also teaches the survivors and all the marginalized groups how to deal with cases of sexual harassment in their environments. The most common ways to deal with incidences of sexual assaults taught by the movement include reaching out, going to hospitals, calling emergency help lines and to ensure they don’t expose themselves to obvious sexual harassment.
The movement has also ensured a change of policies governing sexual assault against women. These policies also apply mostly in workplaces, where women experience sexual assault and are afraid to speak up due to the fear of losing their livelihood. These policies have gone a long way in ensuring women don’t tolerate discrimination and workplace harassment, thus not affecting their livelihood. Women of color are reported to undergo sexual harassment at their workplaces at nearly three times the rate of white women (Welsh 2012). Through the Me Too movement, states have also introduced protection for the workers as a whole, thereby protecting the welfare of women.
The movement’s strategies and tactics to create awareness were through social media outlets. With the advancing technology through recent years, Tarana Burke sought to use social media to reach out to a larger population at once. Since stigmatization was a significant hindrance to speaking up of sexual assault victims, social media helped the victims come together as one voice through the hashtag Me Too that fast gained popularity. The movement, therefore, gave the victims a sense of belonging, and they could speak out. This, in turn, enabled the movement to seek justice for the victims legally.
The use of social media as a strategy has helped victims of sexual assault get justice by making sexual harassment a global conversation. The awareness started by Tarana Burke has made strides in ensuring the compensation of the victims through the legal process. Victims of sexual assault often undergo post-traumatic stress disorders, and through the movement’s efforts towards healing, the victim’s cases have been reduced significantly. Sexual violence usually stays with a victim a long time after the incident; 94 % of women who have been raped experience post-traumatic disorders following the rape( Avina, 2009). Through social media, all the victims get one voice, and when identified, they are healed and given justice through the movement’s efforts.
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