The #MeToo movement started in an effort to give victims a voice and a group of people to either support or even relate to them. The movement gained momentum after it was made public that film producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted multiple women.
After so many women came forward with their story, many others began speaking out as well. Supporters of the movement celebrated these victims for their bravery and candor.
Others, however, view this multitude of sexual assault accusations as an abandonment of due process and a way for people to gain attention and use it in their favor. It is also common to hear the phrase, “you got me-too’d,” which has become a way to use this movement to victimize offenders and mock a victims experience.
It goes without saying that there are two sides to every story and that an accusation can be false. However, many if not most of these accusations are true and the only goal of the movement is to raise awareness and give victims a way to feel safe again.
A prominent champion of women’s rights and the #MeToo movement is Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga.
In an acceptance speech for ELLE‘s Women in Hollywood award, she addressed her own experience as a sexual assault victim and articulated that she stayed silent for many years and when she did finally share what had happened to her, no one offered her any support or help. “…they didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance I was in dire need of,” she said.
This, to me, is a fantastic example of how #MeToo has helped and will continue to help many victims have a voice but also feel heard and supported.
The notion that these women are seeking attention and that #MeToo preaches that women are superior to men is the exact reason we need it. So many people are too ignorant to understand that this movement is a branch of feminism that simply gives victims the opportunity to speak their truth.
When someone is sharing a traumatic experience, I think it is most important that we listen to what they are saying whether you believe it or not. We owe it to each other to offer compassion, listening ears, and to understand that even if there is uncertainty in the truth there is certainty in the trauma.