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November 19, 2018
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#Metoo: What’s all the fuss about?

Have you ever felt the creepiness of hands that grope over body parts?

Or how dirty you feel when someone leans forcefully against one’s physique?

Or how illogical and senseless it is when people who have/haven’t experienced such “creepy filth” can shout against those who have finally found some courage and voice to tell it all!!

Or the judgemental taunt of some apparent “brave hearts” who claim to have slapped or hit back their own abusers thereby considering themselves “licenced to label” the rest of the victims as “weak-kneed” and their present narration of past incidents as “useless and pointless”…..

A wrong is a wrong is a wrong is a …..

No matter whether mentioned now or never…

No matter whether it happened today or twenty years ago….

No matter whether committed by a friend or a foe….

No matter whether slapped at or silenced!

No matter what!

And let me ask for curiosity’s sake, WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE WHETHER SOMEONE’S PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ARE “SERIOUS” OR “NOT SO SERIOUS”? True or False?

When we cannot exactly gauge the emotions we ourselves go through, how can we be so insensitive enough to jump at conclusions regarding what others are going through – their pain or hurt or shame or anything for that matter?

It all started in 2006 when activist TARANA BURKE  was inspired after bonding with a young girl during a youth camp hosted by Just Be Inc., a nonprofit she founded.

Burke detailed the encounter on the site. She said the girl revealed her mother’s boyfriend had been abusing her. That’s when Burke decided to take action by helping the communities where rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers were not present, and “Me Too” was born.

But the hashtag that represents the social cause went viral in 2017 when Alyssa Milano, an American actress used it in support of friend Rose McGowan‘s allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood movie mogul.

Another one of Milano’s friends Charles Clymer, sent her a screenshot that read: “Suggested by a friend: 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.”

Taking the cue, Milano added a sentence to her friend’s message before posting it on Twitter: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

She woke up the next morning to 55,000 replies and the hashtag trending No 1 on Twitter. Now, #MeToo has made waves across the globe, active in 85 countries on Twitter and posted 85 million times on Facebook over the next 45 days…..and still counting into millions more…..

Time‘s person of the year 2017 turned out to be “Silence Breakers”, and Tarana Burke rose to the limelight!

She previously told Time why it’s important to spotlight these stories. “Sexual harassment does bring shame. And I think it’s really powerful that this transfer is happening, that these women are able not just to share their shame but to put the shame where it belongs: on the perpetrator.”

“[I was] trying to find a succinct way to show empathy,” Burke said.

“It’s not about a viral campaign for me. It’s about a movement,” she told CNN. “On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that ‘I’m not ashamed’ and ‘I’m not alone.’ On the other side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says ‘I see you, I hear you, I understand you and I’m here for you or I get it.'”

In a nutshell, it simply encourages women to show solidarity with each other, specifically when it comes to sexual harassment, just like the way Burke had tweeted, “one that we call ‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

Then, what are we creating all the fuss about? Agreed, a few hundreds of them might be lying, but there are also millions of men and women out there who might have truly gone through hell in the past and maybe still are.

There are helpless girls and boys who are abused and silenced with threats & shaming, hapless employees who are tight-lipped about their emotional agony in order to make ends meet…would you call them “less strong or less brave”?

In this day & age of social media, let’s give people the chance and consideration to atleast hashtag….if we don’t choose to empathise, it’s fine….but let’s have second thoughts before voicing heartless viewpoints about real stories that we probably know nothing about!!

References:

www.ajc.com

www.huffingtonpost.in

www.instyle.com

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