The two word phrase has been flying around the internet this week to spread awareness of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Some choose to share their stories and others do not, but it’s become a real eye opener to see just how many of my own friends have been victims.
But it isn’t just close friends and relatives speaking out. Several celebrities have revealed that they are victims as well. Lady Gaga, Martha Stewart, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence and America Ferrera are just a few names that have come forward with their experiences of being disgustingly objectified by older or more powerful people.
The “Me Too” campaign has caught like wildfire to every one of my social media newsfeeds, more than I thought it would. I do not want to make it seem as if I am undermining the immense seriousness of sexual harassment and assault since I too have experienced the dark side of it. But strictly from a PR standpoint, celebrities are actually doing themselves a favor by joining this movement.
They are saying, “hey, I know and understand what you have been through because I have been there.” This gives them a ton of leverage with the general public, especially those affected by sexual harassment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t for one second think that public relations personnel are telling these celebrities to share their horrific stories for a popularity boost but I do know that I personally have a much deeper respect for these women after reading their stories.
But what now?
Alyssa Milano, actress and unofficial sponsor of the “Me Too” movement requested that each woman post the phrase to give “a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” But what do we do with this information? These stories? These women? Do we let their experiences live for another fleeting Facebook fad or do we take action?
If we choose the latter, another PR opportunity is available.
One of these celebrities could take on the challenge of creating a program much like the Fight the New Drug, an anti-pornography 501 nonprofit organization. This action would would benefit the public opinion of that celebrity as well as sexual assault victims.
We could begin making changes to the education system to include consent and appropriate relationships in sex ed curriculum to nip the issue among our youth. This action would benefit the public opinion of the U.S. Department of Education as well as sexual assault victims.
We could create new policies on a federal level that more effectively crack down on sexual predators and offenders. This action would benefit the public opinion of the federal government as well as sexual assault victims.
A ridiculously strong negative could be turned into a positive in more ways than one, but it takes much more than just a hashtag.
We have to take some sort of action. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Burtt, Kristyn. “McKayla Maroney & Other Female Celebrities Share Gut-Wrenching #MeToo Stories.” SheKnows, 18 Oct. 2017, www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/1136623/reese-witherspoon-america-ferrera-jennifer-lawrence-share-sexual-abuse-stories.