Importance of ‘Me, too’ movement

Monday, January 01, 2018

The “me, too” campaign was started 10 years ago, by activist Tarana Burke, to provide a place of support and encouragement for sexual assault survivors. It was recently reinvigorated by actress Alyssa Milano, creating a forum for people to share personal stories, or acknowledgement of having been a victim and survivor of sexual assault or harassment.

The flooding of social networks with #MeToo has been an amazing revelation of solidarity, strength and support worldwide. I love our Happy Valley, but sometimes part of the “happy” is a veneer of silence that overlays talking about challenging, sensitive and painful subjects and realities.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are as much an issue here as anywhere. I know from talking to lots of people, that folks in the Valley think that bad stuff just doesn’t happen here. There is often a collective belief that we are all too civilized, educated, liberal and kind for oppression of any sort.

I am deeply thankful for the wonderful qualities of the people in this community, and yet, the eternal optimism of our majority does not necessarily aid the minority. Violence, oppression, and the continued societal imbalances we live with thrive in silence and shame. When you hear a friend or colleague say “me, too” about sexual assault or harassment, listen. When you want to share your “me, too,” know that you are opening the doors and shining light on a future where sexual violence is an unacceptable thing of the past.

Caring for our community involves knowing and listening to the needs of its members. The “me, too” campaign is more than just a moment; it’s a movement.

Lu Vincent

South Deerfield