Social Media Impacts Sexual Assault Culture
In recent weeks, hundreds of women and men have felt empowered to come forward and share their experiences of sexual assault with some of the most well renowned people in business and Hollywood.
With sexual misconduct being at the forefront of the media, multiple platforms have formed to not only stand in solidarity with the victims, but to also give them a safe space to share their accounts.
The #MeToo movement has helped increase conversation in the media, and on campus as well.
“I’m happy to see our culture shifting to believing women and their experiences,” English Professor Hannah Baggott Anderson said. “It’s encouraging to be at a point where we can be open and connect with others.”
The #MeToo platform was originally created 10 years ago by activist Tarana Burke, but it was picked back up on Twitter after women higher in the industry began to share their accounts via social media, marking their statement with #MeToo.
Since hashtagged phrases can collectively be viewed, it only took a matter of hours before a few celebrities turned into thousands of Twitter users. Numerous women and men who felt they could not speak out against sexual assault beforehand had found a commonplace to exchange support along with their own experiences.
“It’s almost like a domino effect,” biology student Milan Quick said. “If one victim exposes their attacker, I notice other people start to share their stories too.”
After #MeToo caught the attention of people all over the world, many believed the stand against sexual assault should be bigger than just Twitter. At the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, multiple actors and actresses wore all black to show their solidarity with the #MeToo victims.
Celebrities like Meryl Streep, Emma Watson and Justin Timberlake used the platform #TimesUp in support of the previous hashtag.
“It’s a start...there is so much more that could be and should be done to dismantle rape culture and the silence around it,” Baggott Anderson said. “We need a shift in culture in terms of what boys are taught growing up. Women’s bodies are their own; consent is mandatory.”
These platforms have been deemed as crucial by many because of its help to create more awareness about how prevalent sexual assault is in society.
With an increase in conversation, the increase in implementations to prevent sexual assault and help victims increases as well.