Words By Ime Ekpo
Ever since last Friday when actress Rose McGowan sent out an extensive amount of tweets about the despicable ways and actions of Hollywood movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, the rest of Hollywood Twitter got a bit teary-fingered about the subject of sexual assault. This past Sunday, Charmed actress Alyssa Milano developed a support system for sexual assault victims when she tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
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
By the time you know it, social media was flooded with tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook statuses from both men and women with the hashtag #MeToo expressing their experience of sexual predation. #MeToo turned into a nationwide social media campaign for sexual assault victims, but reality is that the #MeToo movement was already in motion and it was founded by a black woman.
Activist Tarana Burke a Harlem, New York native, started the movement 10 years ago specifically for black women. Burke’s Me Too movement has been on a mission to bring together women who are victims of sexual harassment living in destitute communities where sexual assault workers and rape crisis centers are not available and help them as survivors.
“It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow. It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.” says Burke in a statement to Ebony
Another reality about the #MeToo hashtag movement is that the sexual assault upon blacks, women, in particular, were extravagantly left out of the conversation when Milano disbursed her request.
Milano credited Burke for the movement via Twitter on Monday (October 16th), even though she did not apologize for the media frenzy of erroneous reports about her starting the movement. Milano did continuously retweet articles about Burke’s Me Too movement ever since being checked, but also retweeted her #MeToo starter tweet, today.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 16, 2017