LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Since Sunday, internet users have been witnessing an online movement that’s proving how powerful social media can be.
Two simple words: “Me Too” are showing the world just a glimpse of how complex sexual assault and harassment can be in the workplace and everyday life.
From celebrities, to your average woman, many are posting the words to their social media pages. Some speaking publicly for the first time about an issue they’ve been silent about for years.
Celebrity actress Alyssa Milano started the movement over the weekend.
In a Twitter post Sunday, she said: “Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
The post came in response to the recent sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The goal is to encourage women to break their silence if they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted and I think it’s safe to say its working.
Within 48 hours, tens of thousands of women and men have joined in, posting “Me too” to their social media pages, many even sharing personal stories about how sexual assault and harassment has affected them.
“Like every woman I know, I have the same stories about standing at a press conference and having a source come up and creepy touch you down the back,” Angela Wittrock said. “Ya know, there are so many stories.”
Women like Angela Wittrock, hoping to send a message about how prevalent sexual assault and harassment is.
“I’m glad that this is happening that people are talking about it,” Wittrock said. “I’m tired of it being women who have to constantly talk about painful things that have happened to them in order for everyone else to get on board and believe them. So in the future I hope that we don’t have to do this again and again.”
She hopes this time, it won’t get ignored.
6 News Digital Analyst Melissa Brennan said it’s no surprise how much attention this movement has gotten.
She said there’s no better platform than the internet to help men and women who have experienced harassment come forward.
“It’s kind of the same thing when you want to text instead of call,” Brennan said. “Because you can put it out there in text and walk away. Same thing with social media you can put it out there and if you don’t want to look at it you can turn away.”
Brennan said if it’s uplifting and everyone’s doing it, it’s almost like conformity.
“You create this bond with people; for “Me too” you have this whole platform now of women empowering women, there’s nothing else like it in the world.”
6 News also checked in with the Executive Director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, Cindie Alwood.
She was not available for an interview, but did say this movement has brought up a lot of issues for women regarding telling their story and what to do once they’ve shared it.