To support International Women’s Day, President Trump, Melania and Ivanka showed their support over social media.
I thought it would be pretty fitting to point out the hypocrisy of these tweets, and look at the bigger picture.
Donald Trump has quite literally been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing women on several different occasions. This seems to be a recurring theme at the moment, a growing list of powerful men have faced serious consequences for sexual misconduct. But the most powerful one of all, has faced none. He simply claims these women are lying.
‘Things just seem to fall off Trump”- Jessica Leeds.
But the #MeToo has become somewhat of a phenomenon, to provide a sort of umbrella of solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories of sexual misconduct. Following the ‘Me Too’ Movement spreading virally in October 2017, emerged the public revelations of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The phrase, coined by Tarana Burke, and popularised by Alyssa Milano, encouraged women to tweet and ‘give people a sense of magnitude of the problem’. These problems have been simmering away for years, decades, centuries. Whether it’s in the home, the workplace, with bosses or men using their power to take what they want from women. Boundaries were, and still are, being crossed. Boundaries that, apparently, are not clear in the first place. This is a revolution of silent breakers, gaining strength with every day and channelling collective anger to spur change.
#MeToo is not the first hashtag to become popular for sharing stories of sexual violence. Before, there was #MyHarveyWeinstein, #YouOkSis, #WhatWereYouWearing and #SurvivorPrivilege, to name a few. Tags such as these were to empower through empathy, especially young and vulnerable women.
The point is, tackling violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. As accurately put by Angelina Jolie, on the subject of sexual violence: ‘it is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective’.
With International Women’s Day, I celebrated the women who came before us and the women who fight for equality today. I also celebrated the bravery of those who had the courage to speak out. To create the platform for every victim of sexual harassment to be counted.
Celebrations such as International Women’s Day and movements such as #MeToo have raised questions into the mainstream discourse about consent and what constitutes it; of the behaviour we deem acceptable, or not, with sexual context; of what we constitute as ‘normal’.
Each year this movement gathers momentum. Why? Because women are becoming more empowered than ever before.
P.S: for all those ‘but where is International Men’s Day?’ – it’s the 19th November!