By Tanya Burgess
The #MeToo social media movement created by Tarana Burke has been vindicated by victims and advocates throughout American who were victims of inappropriate and illegal mistreatment of the mind, body and soul. Since the presidential election, there has been an increased advocacy and awareness of assault, particularly by men against women in the workplace. The entertainment industry has long been seen as a cesspool of indecency where people have way too much money and power and little knowledge of how to wield them responsibly.
The allegations which have recently come to light against sports giants, actors, producers and business men in the entertainment industry is what started the movement. Those with the strength, support and opportunity to come forward with their story found a hard brick wall in their way, as they were faced with shamming and disbelief. This stigma that being victimized is a shameful experience for the survivor and that speaking on those experiences is taboo are the building blocks for rape culture in America.
So, what makes this movement necessary and is it working?
The first question many women are asked when they finally are able to speak out about their experience with sexual assault is, how did it happen? Answers to these questions are often assumed before the individual speaks. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you trusted someone you shouldn’t have, you made a mistake, you weren’t being careful, or you were doing something you shouldn’t have been doing.
This bias is inherent, most people believe that your personal safety is your responsibility because frankly there are bad people out in the world and you should simply know that. Unfortunately, that biased thinking it’s wrong; if you learn nothing from the life you’ve lived so far, it’s that there are bad people out in the world and you need to keep yourself safe. That being said, as we all understand this notion of safety, why then is it shameful when someone is attacked?
If we all understand that it is completely possible to be harmed even when you are being safe, why then is it never the person who decided to be a ‘bad guy in the world’s fault? The answer is simple, as far as women believe they have ‘come up’ in the world, we are still second-class citizens seen as the lesser or weaker sex. We are simply not as important as men.
Women have indeed come along way and we are on the road to greatness but men are still in the front of the line.