#MeToo campaign sparks calls for new ways to tackle woman abuse

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 22, 2017

The movement ignited with a rallying cry from celebrity Alyssa Milano, who tweeted on Sunday, "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write "me too" as a reply to this tweet".

When women across the world say #MeToo, it's easy to feel guilty for being silent.

But the original "Me Too" movement was started over a decade ago by activist Tarana Burke. This sort of "bro, I got your back" attitude also makes it harder for women suffering at the hands of a man to speak about it, or realise that a line has been crossed. You know, the "this does not happen in our homes" and the "only uneducated people rape women" excuses we hear rampantly flying out of the mouths of men in our living rooms and on our online sofas?

Then there was the esports video producer who confessed his love for me, and told me that if he wasn't married he'd try to get with me. "But I am now". Now that the hashtag has gone viral, she hopes that the movement continues to grow and reach a larger audience. "I feel like that's where the conversation needs to go". I have less concerns about it sticking now. I still talk to many of these men, some of them are my friends, and some I have to interact with for work. It is a personal step forward for each and every person who posted #MeToo, because admitting that you have been a victim of sexual misconduct to yourself, and loved ones, is an extremely hard task, as well as a huge step forward in our current culture.

The co-founder of San Francisco-based Binary Capital, a venture capital firm, stepped down in June after being accused of sexual harassment by six different women. What's your response to that criticism? In truth, though, men also know, and it's time to stop letting them off the hook, at work and everywhere else.

And I would like to expand further on this point.

When will he say: #MeToo - I never stopped my friends from catcalling her. Have you ever felt angry at her when she was direct with you?

As a Certified Life Coach and Editor-In-Chief of a women's empowerment blog, I couldn't ignore it.

We live in a culture that has normalized domination and abuse for so long that it is hard to tell whether these now-common revelations signal a cultural shift in attitudes toward women, or just the power of the internet and tucked-away "Access Hollywood" tapes to bring formerly hidden secrets out into the open. That's not a new phenomenon. You are not alone, and it is OK to seek help.

And we all know how that ended.

#MeToo has pushed the pervasiveness of sexual violence to the forefront of the national conversation. We have to create movements ourselves. For every Harvey Weinstein, there's three or four thousand other pastors, coaches, teachers, uncles, cousins and stepfathers who are committing the same crimes.

"That's an undeniable gender inequality issue that you have the chance to be part of addressing".

We have to be courageous.

The confessions must have taken courage. But that position neglects to understand that just because you as an individual haven't acted in this way, that doesn't mean other people haven't on a regular basis. [But] if you're watching something like this happen, if you're a bystander while this is happening, and you feel uncomfortable and that the situation is wrong and you need to do something, I want to encourage people to find the strength to intervene. Let me lay this out for you right now: Friendliness does not equal permission. "You can't do that". Author of 9 books including the upcoming Sexycises by Sexperts: Intimacy Through Yoga, Dr. Ava is also a sought-after media therapist and global speaker whose mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt and shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships. Statistically, most reported cases involve men harassing women. "But I know I don't have anything to be ashamed of".

Russell explains: "Women pointing out that male violence against women and girls is a widespread problem that we as a society need to acknowledge and challenge is not the same as telling you you're violent or abusive simply because you're a man".

The suggestion caught on, with women and men all over the world posting #MeToo. A lot of them want to say: "I can't be the survivor and the supporter". And I include myself in that category. That's not fair. The perpetrator should be doing that work.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., she recalled near daily street harassment, from men yelling vile things at out of auto windows to boys chasing her as she rode her bike. Then, to my total shock, some men took to social media to express how they've wrongfully behaved with women in the past.

We are experiencing a moment of mass disclosure, which can be very triggering for folks.

Get instant insight into what people are talking about now.

We must bring lawsuits, we must speak up, and we must forgive ourselves. I apologise (and will do so as many times as it is needed) for my own mistakes from which I have learned. When you are a survivor of sexual violence, it permanently alters your life.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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