The omnipotence of social media is not utterly false.Though it cannot put an end to sexual harassment, it serves as a platform to open up about these issues.
On October 15, #MeToo, a hashtag promoted by the actress Alyssa Milano via Twitter has stirred a rage among everyone, especially the members of the fair sex. Women and men all around have shared their fears and stories with the whole world. In past few days, #MeToo became one of largest trending topics on social media with numerous tweets on Twitter and a large number of shares on Facebook too. The movement went viral when umpteen individuals including celebrities like Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, Sheryl Crow, Vir Das, Mallika Dua and others also tweeted about it.
Although sexual harassment is not an issue worrying only women, the movement has magnified the sore topic of objectifying the human body regardless of gender and age. For years, the Internet has accoutered people to heighten social issues. In the year 2005, Rebecca Chiao founded HARASSmap to criminalize sexual harassment in Egypt, educating both men and women about its severity. The app was recognized with several accolades later. In 2014, another hashtag had started trending – the #YesAllWoman to raise voice against the male chauvinism. Social media had witnessed this trend after a 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured several others to punish women for turning him down and likewise because he resented sexually active men.
Sexual harassment has been afflicting every society for ages. However, its impact has been underrated. The victim is often advised not to reveal his or her trauma because it’s the victim whose dignity would be questioned. But, the era of hashtag activism has started to bring a change. People are disclosing their trauma which has been bothering them all along.
Social media trends are fleeting. Hours later something else will start to trend. Will then the issue of Sexual Harassment be suppressed forever?
Food for thought…
Sompurna is in love with good food and good books. She learns from her favorite characters. She learned to break stereotypes from one of her favorite characters Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride & Prejudice”. She learned the true meaning of love from Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’ Hara from “Gone with the Wind”. She is head over heels in love with writing because of these books. And, one day, she dreams of creating her own library.