How Teresa Shook and Tarana Burke Influence Girls in Today’s Society

How Teresa Shook and Tarana Burke Influence Girls in Today’s Society


Many of us have head of The Women’s March and The #MeToo Movement and the strong women behind them. Today I am here to further explain how their leadership has helped so many girls in todays society become stronger and feel like they have a voice. This semester I am taking a Leadership course where I have learned about different leadership styles that have evolved and become known over the years. While writing a reflection for my class I stumbled upon Teresa Shook the creator of The Women's March and Tarana Burke the creator of the #MeToo Movement. I chose to talk about both of these women and the huge impact they have on the girls and women within society today.

Teresa Shook created the Women's March in Washington D.C. the day after Trump was elected President from a simple Facebook post. The post was on a Facebook event page which called for a march on Washington following Trump’s inauguration in January. The night she made the post she went to bed with about 40 responses. But by the time the she woke up the next morning, she had more than 10,000 responses. This huge jump in involvement sparked a new beginning. From the Women's March website their mission statement states


“The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change. Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs and events. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect.”


This mission not only gives a voice to women but members of the LGBTQ community, minorities, and our environment. Shook’s leadership styles of being charismatic, inspirational, and a situational leader are what caused her movement to be heard and adored by so many. As a charismatic, and situational leader she took a bad experience that for so many was the outcome of the election and turned that into a way to give so many people a voice about what needs to change in our society and a way to bring those issues to a higher power through a movement which has inspired so many.


    Tarana Burke created the #MeToo Movement in  2006, which encourages women to show solidarity with each other, specifically when it comes to cases of sexual harassment.

While sitting in bed one night scrolling through social media Tarana had seen someone using her hashtag #metoo when talking about their sexaul abuse experience with Harvey Weinstein. From there her movement took off and sparked a new platform for women to share their sexaul abuse and sexaul assault stories with others. Therefore giving them a voice during a time where they feel helpless and give them strength to stand up and be strong again. This movement of empowering women and giving them a safe place to share with the world their experience has blow up and given the world a sense of how big the epidemic of sexually based assaults and abuse is. I use the word epidemic because over the past year we have seen about 54 men ranging from actors, politicians, news anchors, and athletes being accused of sexual assault following the Harvey Weinstein accusations but this does not include people like Larry Nassar who sexually assaulted 265 girls through his career as the Team USA Gymnastics team doctor. This example #MeToo movement helped the victims of Larry Nassar like Mckayla Maroney and other gymnasts under Nassars care speak out and make their abuse known. The use of #MeToo gave these girls a chance to speak up and get justice after all these years . The movement has caused many women to speak about about their abuse and fight for justice so they can be proud of themselves and give them a sense of strength after the encounter they had. Tarana Burke shares similar leadership styles with Teresa Shook and how she took something as horrible as sexual assault and turned it into an empowerment for women is what has inspired so many to follow her lead and speak up.



These two insanely inspiring and impactful women exemplify the influence, situational and contingency leadership traits due to the way they formed their movements, created a voice for others, and influenced so many in a huge way. The use of social media to reach millions upon millions of women and girls is what has caused the growing success of these two huge movements. As a girl in a society where going out at night can be dangerous and my sense of style or outfit choice can mean “I’m asking for it” can be hard and scary. But I feel like with these two amazing women we are given a beacon of light during such a dark and fighting time in our lives. In just a year these two movements have created so many waves which have rocked the nation causing people to think about the treatment of women and their roles in society as well as how women view themselves in their roles within society. This  shows how insanely amazing the outcome has been so far. Growing up in a society where everything from social norms and gender roles are changing and evolving to allow an equal society with the help of all these two amazing activists and many like them,  inspiring so many people including many girls who need that sense of I can do whatever the hell I want and be proud of that is absolutely amazing. I can personally say that I am excited for the continuation of these two movement and as Oprah Winfrey said in her 2018 Golden Globe speech


“to the time when nobody ever has to say "Me too" again.


    With the leadership from so many influential and inspiring women and movements like the Women's March and #MeToo this future is not far off.



Thank you for reading