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May 15, 2018

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Hashtag#Me Too

In case you’re wondering what all the fuss on Facebook is about regarding the comments from women who have stated “me too” in their statuses, it’s a movement that’s far greater than just sharing personal accounts of sexual harassment and/or violence.


This tip of the iceberg movement all started with journalist Sandra Muller who “turned to Twitter to recall a humiliating and inappropriate sexual come-on from a powerful French Executive.” As she quoted his lewd comments about her anatomy she popularized the #BalanceTonPorc or “Expose Your Pig” movement.


As a result, tens of thousands of Frenchwomen responded to her call and began posting “disturbing accounts of sexual harassment and abuse, although most stopped short of identifying their harassers,” according to the New York Times.The scandal surrounding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein coincided with Muller’s movement thereby creating an “outpour” In the United States and “elsewhere” under the hashtag #MeToo cooperative that was also inspired by actress Alyssa Milano.


What’s significant about this groundswell of outpouring, however is the potential impact it may have in propelling much needed changes in the French culture, which has “long enabled powerful men to misbehave with impunity”, both socially and legally.  “Legislation is currently underway to fine men for catcalling or lecherous behavior toward women in public, to extend the statute of limitations in cases of sexual assault involving minors and to create a new age ceiling under which minors cannot legally consent to sexual relationships.” So much for older men dating teenaged girls…


As I reflect upon the painful and heart-wrenching Facebook accounts I recently read under the plethora of “#MeToo” posts, the assaults did not discriminate. There were female judges, lawyers, doctors, church women and victims from all walks of life whom I could never have imagined enduring the same degree of sexual harassment/assault that I have endured personally. Then there were those who have personally shared their stories of sexual violence with me that didn’t post at al