Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Where the MeToo Movement Stands 5 Years Later
Where the #MeToo Movement Stands, 5 Years After Harvey Weinstein
It was five years ago this month that the very first article by journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the story of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's decades of sexual misconduct.
Later that month, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet."
This post, referencing the #MeToo Movement created by Tarana Burke years earlier, went viral. So, too, did the allegations against Weinstein. Dozens of women stepped forward to publicly share the extent of the powerful producer's bad acts. Actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan's initial allegations were later followed by Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o and many others speaking publicly about Weinstein's harassment or assault.
As with Weinstein, many formerly powerful men have similarly been accused of sexual assault and harassment in the years since #MeToo went global. But more broadly, the movement also helped launch a wider examination of society's treatment of women in everyday life, at the workplace and in Hollywood.***
The #MeToo Movement was created by Burke in 2006 as a way to empower people who had been sexually assaulted and harassed.
Kimberly Hamlin, a feminist history scholar at Miami University, said women and other assault survivors are continuing to speak out, five years after the Weinstein story broke the long-standing seal on silence.
"The generations-long culture of silence is over," Hamlin said. "The tide has turned from giving abusers a free pass, to listening to and believing survivors and silence breakers. I really feel that we cannot overestimate how big of a shift this is culturally, psychologically, legally. For generations, women have been told, 'Suck it up. Keep it to yourself. That's just how things are. It's your fault.'"
"We are no longer raising our children to just be nice," she said. "[Or to think] 'just don't say anything.' And this is a watershed change."