US producer Harvey Weinstein

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

The recent sexual assault allegations against Hollywood juggernaut Harvey Weinstein has reignited an internet movement to end the shame associated with sexual violence.

#MeToo has taken over the social media sphere, with many men and women utilizing the trending hashtag to show solidarity with the victims of sexual assault while bravely voicing their own experiences. #MeToo is the brainchild of blogger and advocate Tarana Burke. Started over ten years ago, Burke created the hashtag as a means to create “empowerment through empathy.”

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#metoo It has been amazing watching all of the pushback against Harvey Weinstein and in support of his accusers over the last week. In particular, today I have watched women on social media disclose their stories using the hashtag #metoo. It made my heart swell to see women using this idea – one that we call ‘empowerment through empathy’ – to not only show the world how widespread and pervasive sexual violence is, but also to let other survivors know they are not alone. The point of the work we’ve done over the last decade with the ‘me too movement’ is to let women, particularly young women of color know that they are not alone – it’s a movement. It’s beyond a hashtag. It’s the start of a larger conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Join us. 📹: @sirxavv 2014 March Against Rape Culture Philadelphia, PA #metoomovement #yourenotalone #itsamovement #empowermentthroughempathy

A post shared by Tarana J. Burke (@taranajaneen) on

The movement went mainstream when Alyssa Milano used the hashtag Sunday afternoon  to illuminate the scope of the problem:

Since her original tweet, the message has been retweeted thousands of times and grabbed the attention of many Hollywood women including Anika Noni Rose, Lady Gaga, and Gabrielle Union.

We previously reported, to date, more than 30 women including Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Rose McGowen have come forward to say they were either sexually harassed and/or raped by Weinstein.


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