Abcarian: On the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement, the reckoning continues, and more are coming. But what is the meaning of #MeToo? How does it affect people of color? Find out.
On February 11, the #MeToo social-media movement was born. And in its first week an estimated 1.5 million people around the globe spoke out against sexual misconduct, particularly behavior that many view as sexual assault. It immediately inspired a number of hashtags: #BeenRaped, #BeenAttacked, #BeenHarassed, #RapeMeToo, #MeTooNotRape, #RapeNotMeToo, #RapeMeToo2018, #MeToo4All, #MeTooBlackLivesMatter, #MeTooAllLivesMatter, #NoTrayvonMartin, #NoMoreTrayvonMartin, #MeTooUs, and #MeTooEveryday. The movement did not take full advantage of hashtags until the next night, when it expanded to Instagram and Twitter, where #MeToo began trending.
And this is the first day of the countdown to the fifth anniversary of the #MeToo movement. This movement, as the hashtag highlights, is not just a hashtag, not just a movement, but an effort to create a platform for reporting and accountability. The movement has become a catalyst of activism, bringing attention to issues that were long forgotten, and for people of color, it gives them a voice and the ability to confront racism and gender-based violence in a way that can often be difficult. The movement did not just start in Silicon Valley. The #MeToo movement has spread to communities of color, and even across the country and around the world.
At a time when the #MeToo movement has become a worldwide movement, it is important to understand both its origins and the many ways in which it has grown and developed. But it’s also important to recognize that even as the movement has taken its place as the most visible expression of contemporary women’s movements, it has often been criticized for being exclusionary and