Two simple words that have had such resonance over the past two days, as men and women around the world deal with fallout from the revelations in Hollywood that some of their most popular film stars have suffered sexual assault by disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Actress Alyssa Milano – a former co-star of Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s many accusers – suggested Sunday that anyone who has ever been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ on social media.
In the hours since, those few computer characters have been typed in far too many times.
And if anyone thinks that such deviant, predatory behaviour is limited to Weinstein – who, it must be noted, denies the more serious allegations that have been made public since an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé – or takes place only in an industry celebrated for its ostentatiousness and shock, seeing the words “me too” repeated again and again and again and again on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds should set the record straight.
It should also be noted that those postings are from only the people who are willing to make their stories known at this time. No doubt there are others who choose to deal with their own personal struggles in their own, less public, way.
Clearly, abuse is all too prevalent in all walks of life, in any structure where there is a hierarchy, whether in an industry, faith, academic or even family. That any one person would suffer is horrendous; that we as a society have allowed such behaviour to fester behind closed doors is shameful.
There are, however, two positives that are apparent in this otherwise depressing turn of events.
One is that people are finally talking openly about an issue that has been kept from much meaningful public discussion for far too long.
The other is that we are still shocked in knowing that there are millions of ‘me too’s floating through the online ether and readily available on our computer screens for those who want to be part of the solution.
Only when when such news fails to truly shock us will we conclude our society is beyond repair.