The Righteous Outpouring of #MeToo

October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Bob Avakian recently wrote:

The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups and complicity with it, and the demand for a radical change in the culture—which has made a major leap in relation to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and has now spread far beyond that, involving millions of women, in sphere after sphere throughout this country and in other countries as well—is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack. (From “A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation, by Bob Avakian: SUPPORT AND SPREAD THE FURY AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE”)

In this light, the #MeToo movement that has spread widely through society is shedding a much-needed light on the pervasiveness of rape and sexual assault in this society. It is providing millions of women a way to speak out and challenge people to confront the totally unacceptable situation—and to demand a STOP to this.

On October 15, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: “If all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote #MeToo as a status, we might give people a sense of magnitude of the problem.... If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”

Within 24 hours, millions of people around the world were engaging in the “Me Too” conversation on Facebook. By several days later, the #MeToo hashtag had been used more than 1.2 million times on Twitter.

This storm of outrage comes with an unapologetic abuser and harasser of women, Trump, in the White House. The 2005 videotape that surfaced during the 2016 campaign let the world hear Trump bragging gleefully: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.... Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything.” As one #MeToo tweet said: “It REALLY pisses me off knowing 62 Mill Americans put a predator in the WH.”

Celebrities including Anna Paquin, Lady Gaga, Debra Messing, Anika Noni Rose, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, and Evan Rachel Wood have joined the #MeToo movement. Olympic gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney talked of years of sexual abuse by the doctor on the U.S. team: “It started when I was 13 years old, and it didn’t end until I left the sport. I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting.”

Most tweets came from regular women, like this one: “my mom won’t let me sleepover bc she’s afraid for my safety but she couldn’t protect me from her cousin in her own home for 4+ years #MeToo.” A tweet with a photo of a bloodied face said: “I posted a graphic selfie of my beating to tell the world #MeToo.”

Shedding a Light on Pervasiveness of Rape and Sexual Assault

One woman tweeted: “If the #MeToo movement makes you uncomfortable, good. We shouldn’t be comfortable with this.”

#MeToo is revealing how widespread rape and sexual assault is—among all kinds of women in every stratum of society—of all nationalities and ages, and including women who have accomplished a lot and achieved a certain status in politics, academia, and business. There have been #MeToo tweets from women doctors, lawyers, professors, and neuroscientists. Mazie Hirono, a U.S. senator from Hawaii, tweeted: “Pretty much every woman that I know, myself included, has a #MeToo story.”

And there have been #MeToo tweets from women all over the world. In India, where a woman is raped every 20 minutes, there has been a flood of #MeToo tweets.

Some men have also joined the #MeToo movement to say how this epidemic of sexual assault of women is unacceptable and calling on other men to do something about it. Australian journalist Benjamin Law tweeted: “Guys, it’s our turn. After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.” And through #HowIWillChange, men have been tweeting, saying they will start calling out predatory behavior—cutting off locker room talk, calling out harassment, and ending victim blaming.

Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo awareness campaign in 2006, said of this recent outpouring, “It is an epidemic, and the news and media have to treat it like it’s an epidemic.” And Alyssa Milano said: “What the ‘Me Too’ campaign really does... is really put the focus back on the victims: to give us a voice, to give us strength, to give us power... And what that enables us to do is say, ‘No more. No more. We’re not going to put up with this anymore.’”

Rape, other sexual assault, and harassment is reinforced by this male supremacist society, with its culture that demeans and objectifies women. Studies say about one in four women is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Amidst the accusations by women about Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement has put a damning spotlight on how sexual assault is horrifically widespread—hitting women and girls not just in the entertainment industry, but throughout society, in homes, offices, churches, schools, in academia, in the military... by strangers, relatives, friends.

The #MeToo movement takes heightened importance and meaning at this moment when there is an open sexual predator in the White House—where the agenda of the fascist Trump/Pence regime includes a whole list of attacks on women.

The tremendous power of the #MeToo movement should feed into and be part of November 4 and the days to follow—where people will take to the streets across the country, beginning a struggle that must continue day after day and night after night to demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!


Tarana Burke who started #MeToo awareness said, "It is an epidemic, and the news and media have to treat it like it's an epidemic."


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