You Should Be Paying Attention to the #MeToo Movement

The #MeToo movement has been around for 12 years. A female activist, Tarana Burke, coined the term to encourage women to show unity between each other, especially when it comes to sexual assault. Now, in 2017 the hashtag has gone viral because of Alyssa Milano’s encouragement of sexual assault victims to tweet the words “me too” on Twitter. #MeToo has been credited with taking down 97 men and one woman. The most public figures included celebrities like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Savile, R. Kelly and, most recently, Larry Nassar. Many women and men see the movement as a sign of female strength. It is a way to advocate and inform women they aren’t alone. However, some actresses like Catherine Deneuve believe the hashtag has gone too far.

 

I disagree. The #MeToo movement is just getting started and it’s time to shed light on the fact that men have been getting away with sexually assaulting women for years. In fact, there are eight different times that USA gymnastics physician, Larry Nassar, could have been stopped. In 1997 multiple young girls training in a youth program at MSU reported they were uncomfortable with the way he was putting his hands inside of them. Instead of being believed, they were interrogated and told that they had misunderstood what he was trying to do and that was the end of that. That was 21 years ago. Nassar could have been stopped 21 years ago but, instead, it was brushed under the rug and he was able to continue practicing until gymnastics stars like Aly Raiseman and Simone Biles spoke up about their abuse.

This isn’t okay. To be able to abuse multiple women for 21 years is disgraceful. The fact of the matter is that the movement is bringing light to abuse that could have been ended a long time ago. No longer can abusers hide behind what they’re doing. #MeToo allows women who have been abused to come forward without being scared. Think of all of the public figures who have come out saying they have been sexually abused. When these women come out with the truth they’re giving young women the strength to come out too and to step away from their abusers.

This is why the #MeToo movement is so important for us to pay attention to. For something like sexual assault to be brushed under the rug, it isn’t something America should stand for, especially on college campuses. In 2015, 89% of colleges reported zero rape incidents. Those colleges are lying. It’s estimated that only 5% of sexual assaults on college campuses are reported; yet one in five women on a college campus will be sexually assaulted. These statistics are embarrassing for schools. While schools defend the abusers, #MeToo allows for college females to speak out against them. This movement sheds light on what is really happening on college campuses. It allows abused women to find people they can talk to. It allows them to get help. It allows them to out their abusers. It allows them to find closure. We should be paying attention to #MeToo because it’s more than just a movement, it’s a way to hold people accountable for the abuse they’ve committed.