When actress Alyssa Milano tweeted the words Me Too, at the peak of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal last October, the response from women around the globe was immediate. In 24 hours her message had garnered tens of thousands views and shares across twitter. Me Too had become a beacon for women to rally around and share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment. To date #MeToo has been shared in over 90 countries, and has been tweeted over 6.5 million times and counting.
Recently actress French Catherine Deneuve compared the campaign as a new “puritanism”, and a “witch hunt”.
Celebrated Canadian author, Margaret Atwood echoed a similar sentiment about me too, and called out the lack of due process for men who are accused of these crimes.
And then there is also the question of diversity.
In the early moments of #metoo the movement was credited as being the brainchild of Milano, when in actuality it had actually been created years prior by a Black activist named of Tarana Burke, years before Harvey Weinstein’s assaults were brought to light. Black women like Burke and Anita Hill have long led the charge for rights for victims of sexual assault, yet the voices of Black women is oftdiminished in these conversations. Does the global movement have a diversity problem?
We are joined in studio A today by A. Adar Ayira, poet, artist anti-racism facilitator and social observer. Adar is part of the Senior Leadership Team at Associated Black Charities and one of the co-founders of Baltimore Racial Justice action.
Dr. Kimberly Moffitt associate professor of American Studies and assistant professor of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture PhD program at UMBC is here as well. Dr. Moffitt covers a wide range of topics through her teaching including media, culture and body politics.
Alizay Jalisi also joins the conversation. Alizay is a senior undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University and President of Hopkins Feminists.