Two words have been unavoidable on social media: "Me too." Sometimes those two words stand alone. Sometimes they are accompanied by one, or 10, examples of when the posters were sexually assaulted or harassed. Sometimes they include the call to action: "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."
Since celeb mom of two Alyssa Milano spread this call on Sunday, she has received tens of thousands of responses on her Twitter alone. The hashtag also went viral on Facebook.
If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet.
Some are cynical about the movement, wondering if it will truly change anything. Some say the number of women they see sharing their experiences really isn't surprising. Still, for those who haven't been paying attention, for those still in denial, the sheer number of people who self-identified as victims prove just how common sexual harassment and assault is. No one deserves to be a victim, yet #metoo shows that virtually everyone knew someone or was someone who experienced it.
"To the women who have suffered any form of abuse of power, I stand beside you. To the women who have come forward against a system that is designed to keep you silent, I stand in awe of you and appreciate you and your fortitude. It is not easy to disclose such experiences, especially in the public eye. Your strength will inspire others. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for fighting this battle so hopefully my daughter won't have to," she wrote on Patriot Not Partisan.
Milano pointed out that women in all professions are continuously mistreated and that there are men, like Weinstein, who undermine and exploit women around every corner.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one in four women face harassment in the workplace and many more don't report it. And that is just in the workplace. Women tweeted about harassment by strangers, families, classmates and former lovers.
"Really think about that. Really allow that statistic to become a part of you. Also, while you process it, think about the gender inequality women—particularly women of color—face in salary and opportunity. Actually, f--k the statistics, just do better, world," Milano wrote.
When a very young Lisa Bloom noticed the drugstore had an aisle for "Girls' Toys" (dolls, toy vacuum cleaners and dress-up clothes) and "Boys' Toys" (guns, cars and money) she urged her mother, prominent feminist attorney Gloria Allred, to sue. To this day, the store simply marks the aisles "Toys." Bloom grew up, became a lawyer herself, and last year struck a chord with her New York Times bestselling book Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. In this Q&A, Bloom talks about how to engage girls in conversations that go beyond their looks.