Twitter: #MeToohashtag trends as Quebecers promote awareness on sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is becoming a norm in today’s society; with women being the majority at the receiving end of this social ill.
Montreal-based musician and throat singer Beatrice Deer, says that the stigma that accompanies sexual harassment can be quite damning on the victim.
“The shame makes it so much worse, it’s draining.” said Deer. “You feel so isolated and just saying the words seems so taboo when it shouldn’t be.”
The #MeToo hashtag has been trending on social media since it was launched on Monday, with hundreds of Quebec women showing their support for “strong” women who have experienced several forms of sexual assault or harassment—yet rose above it.
There were numerous stories being told by victims, with Deer—while sharing the #MeToo hashtag, acknowledging that she was a continuous victim of sexual harassment as a child. She remarked on the importance of being vocal about it, as she is eager to see lots ofeffective change in the upcoming generation.
The campaign was initiated on the micro-blogging site Twitter, following numerous reports trailing the sexual harassment allegations targeted at Hollywoodmogul Harvey Weinstein. Harvey is alleged to have been involved in multiple cases of sexual assault—as he used his influence to prey on numerous women for years. This development paved a way for the current trend, as several conversations sprang up on the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence targeted towards women globally.
The trend appeared to have been started by actress Alyssa Milano, who tweeted “Me Too” on Sunday. The short tweet then triggered more than 45,000 responses—with more people sharing their own harrowing experiences.
The #MeToo hashtag has spread across the Quebec social media space, with artists, authors, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, and women from all walks of life joining the campaign.
Montreal pop singer Coeur de Pirate also joined the movement—saying it as it is in a tweet: “Wanted to say #MeToo but I think the (expletive) you hashtag is very suitable as well.”
Deer spoke on the importance of the publicity, and how awareness is very important in curbing the unwanted act.
“The only way we can have a sense of hope is to be open about it,” Deer said. “When you do open up about it, you start to heal and process and move on with life.”
Despite the ubiquitous nature of harassment targeted at women, Deer remarked that she is well aware of that fact, but when ensnared in the situation it can be quite pestilent and jolting.
“You’re kind of stunned when it happens,” she said. “Like, later you think ‘I should have said this’ or ‘I should have said that,’ but in the moment you’re just frozen. It’s an awful feeling.”
“Looking online, it feels like it’s happened to every second person. But people are talking about it. Not necessarily with their own words, but by sharing (the hashtag), they’re saying they’ve experienced it and there’s no reason to hide it.”
The Twitter campaign has surely fulfilled its purpose; as since its inception, numerous women have not only been inspired, but have gained courage to rise above the stigmas.