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#metoo Spreads Awareness of Sexual Harassment

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Amidst sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, several hollywood women have come forward sharing their own accounts of sexual harassment. Weinstein, a movie mogul fired from his own company, has been paying off women to keep quiet about sexual harassment for decades. Recently, he was exposed in an investigation by Jodi Kantor and Magan Twohey of The New York Times, citing specific accounts by Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan along with several other claims from actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

Although #metoo  has been a source of support for many women, it has also revealed a more disturbing side of our society”

This bombshell story prompted many stars to share their own experiences of sexual harassment, inside and outside of Hollywood. Actress Alyssa Milano applied the hashtag #metoo, calling on other women to reveal their own experiences in an effort to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment in society. The hashtag has been used over 825,000 times on twitter and several public figures, such as the Obamas, Hilary Clinton, and Disney, have condemned the actions of Weinstein and the general environment that fosters such behavior.

The history of the hashtag itself extends far past the modern revelations of Hollywood; started ten years ago by Tarana Burke, the movement stems from a compelling encounter. During a bonding session for Girls for Gender Equality, Burke was confronted by a little girl who revealed that she was being sexually abused by her stepfather. With the objective of creating a network for survivors to connect, Burke’s concept has been reinvigorated by the recent media attention.

Although #metoo  has been a source of support for many women, it has also revealed a more disturbing side of our society. With the number  of women bringing forth such intolerable instances, it begs to question how could these ever be allowed in the first place? The extent of how relatable some are to a vast amount of women speaks to the attitude of indifference that has been perpetuated by a culture dismissive of women’s issues in the modern era. How could one ever change the a culture that has never not existed? Who does the responsibility fall on? It is everyone, regardless of sex or experience, awareness must overcome the ignorance that allows for production of people like Weinstein.

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