We All Said #MeToo…So What’s Next?

By Karishma Talwar

The power of the internet was again made clear with the most recent hashtag attempting to instigate some social change. As indignation grew, so did the solidarity of people everywhere, and #MeToo began to trend worldwide.

Inspired by the most recent bout of brave personal accounts of physical assault and harassment committed by Harvey Weinstein, these accounts only added to those who have already spoken up, told their story, stopped being afraid and started being angry with the world we had developed, the society that seemed unchanging and unable to comfort them as they kept their stories under wraps. The unfortunate truth being that this is everyday life for every woman. As if its just an accepted part and parcel of society, something we just have to get on with, take in our stride – a quirk almost – as these individuals continue to justify their actions as “not serious”, “a joke”, “a compliment”, “just a bit of fun”, “boys being boys” and so on and so forth. But, as any self-respecting individual would know, this is and always has been unacceptable. 

Such acts perpetuate our society, and go without consequence as exampled in our everyday lives in which you or someone you know has been harassed, assaulted or shamed for just walking down the street. When will the time come that women aren’t worried about the potential of males they do and do not know to harass them, exploit the fact that they are a woman? As anger and upset grows throughout the world, people start finding their voice, and consequences are implemented for the few high-profile names that have graced our media. But will this act as a warning for our general public, or will the majority of individuals who commit these acts on a daily basis remain the same: unfazed by the public outpouring of rage and hurt, choosing not to put two and two together and notice the gross similarities between the Weinsteins of this world, and themselves. 

We are left with the question of what’s next after this powerful movement? To iterate and reiterate that this is and never was OK, that we will not stand for silence any more.

Of course, we need consequences, we need to continue to be bold in letting our voices be heard, we need to continue to be brave, put our stories out there, show the world that this is a problem that is not going away, that there is work to be done, and that the will to make urgent, significant, meaningful change will survive beyond this hashtag. 

But most importantly, we need a certain kind of solidarity: we need every gender, every race, every person who feels an ounce of frustration that this is still an issue, on board. This is not a “women’s issue,” but, rather, a human issue. While we need women, nonbinary folks, and femmes everywhere to unite, we also need men everywhere to question their actions, reflect on every time they might have put someone in an uncomfortable space – a space where they felt violated, harassed, powerless – and take responsibility.

This is only when we will see change, this is only when we will be united.

 Karishma is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via unsplash}