Josie’s Journal: Hashtag creates empathy, advocates for victims

Josie Krueger
Entertainment Columnist

“#metoo” is displayed to inspire others to share their experiences. Photo by Josie Krueger

Countless social media users have come forward to share their experiences, their opinions, and their thoughts on sexual violence and misconduct through social media using the hashtag, “#metoo” in the past weeks of October.

This “#metoo” movement was inspired by the recent accusations against American film producer and co-founder of entertainment company, Miramax, Harvey Weinstein. About 56 women have made allegations of sexual misconduct from Weinstein according to their personal experiences. Many of these women are actresses known for their roles in Miramax-produced films, such as Gwyneth Paltrow who starred in 1996 drama, “Emma.”


American actress, Alyssa Milano tweeted on Oct. 15, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

Succeeding the first “#metoo” Tweet from Milano, there was a chain reaction of Tweets and other social media outputs using the hashtag in support and, in some cases, against the movement. These outputs support the original purpose of the movement, which is to establish empathy to help victims recover, and to expose the significance of sexual violence issues in today’s society.

One example is from Shelley Mishler, who on Oct. 23, tweeted, “#Metoo the assaults I experienced weren’t as bad as others, but I too have had them. Now I don’t feel alone or ashamed anymore.”

Unfortunately, these issues not only happen in Hollywood but in local communities like Webster Groves. Counselor Ken Winingham addressed solutions to these issues in our school in particular.

“I think our young men as well as our young women need to step up and say ‘You can’t do this.’ It shouldn’t just be (women’s) job to make sure (men) behave. That‘s kind of the new thing. White people need to tell white people about racism. Guys need to tell guys about sexism, instead of expecting the victim to teach the aggressor. That’s what I would hope the school could do,” Winingham said.

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