The #MeToo movement was first started with a tweet by actress, producer and singer Alyssa Milano to help women who had been abused, sexually harassed, or raped to share their stories. Milano’s tweet said, “if you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write #metoo as a reply to this tweet.” The tweet went viral and encouraged women all over the world to speak about their abuse and victim stories. Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, shared Milano’s tweet, leading to accusations of rape and sexual assault by more than 20 women against American film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Milano said she used Twitter to shine a light on the issue. Her tweet was so powerful that even men joined the movement, including global celebrities like Brendan Fraser, David Arquette and Matt McGorry, who wanted to empathize with the women to be able to understand and support them.
According to the New York Post, men admired women who shared their stories and felt empathy for them, however they felt that the movement was not taking them into consideration since men are always portrayed as the “bad guy.” Also, men felt the movement was segregating the interaction with women in their workplace. They empathize with the #MeToo stories but want their stories to be heard also, since they felt that men can be sexually harassed and abused too.
#MeToo held a parade on Highland Avenue, California, that men weren’t allowed to participate in. “We’re never necessarily welcome to the parade,” said Andrew Schmutzer, who is a professor of biblical studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and has written about being abused as a teen. Experts say men feel ashamed of being raped or abused and refuse to talk about their stories. That’s the reason women should include male victims in their movement. Men want a voice so that their trauma does not go unheard. They want young men to know that they can stand up to their accuser and not get emasculated.
Men want a voice to speak freely about how it feels to be sexually assaulted without being judged. They want to mold the future for teens who might be suicidal due to rape. They want men who are being sexually abused right now to show courage and to speak up. But it’s hard to speak up when women are dimming your voice. “It’s not a competition,” said rap artist Mr. Cook. “Men don’t want to wait, they want to be heard now before the issue is forgotten.”