As of late, the internet has been buzzing with women from around the world sharing personal accounts of sexual harassment under a common uniting hashtag ‘#MeToo’. The flurry of shocking revelations has hit the mainstream world like an earthquake, victimising many powerful men in its wake.
Born out of the Weinstein Effect, the use of #MeToo for exposing grave acts of sexual misconduct was first popularised by Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano via her Twitter account on October 15, 2017. The term, originally coined by Tarana Burke in 2006, became ‘viral’ from that point and, by the next day, reached over five million mentions across all social media platforms.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
In little time, the #MeToo phenomenon took the internet by storm, and transcended the boundaries of industry and country, to become the common channel for outcries of sexually-assaulted women from all backgrounds.
In India, the movement took great momentum when Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta shared her own account of #MeToo in October 2018. The actress received incredible support from her peers, and this inspired many other women to come out of the shadows and confront their offenders publicly. Eventually, many prominent Indian men accused of sexual assault were evicted from their companies, besides being bashed by the media.
The #MeToo movement, which started in the US and grew international to become nothing short of a social revolution, has changed the landscape for women in workplace for the better. Now, there are more stringent rules in place to prevent sexual misconduct and to punish the offenders. Most importantly, the world has finally woken to one of the numerous ways women are mistreated in the society.