The Power of the Social Movement
#METOO and #NEVERAGAIN
Last October, a powerful movement began on social media, when, after Harvey Weinstein was revealed to be a longtime sexual predator, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged women to share their stories of sexual harassment or assault, using the hashtag #MeToo. It took off, with more than 4.7 million people using the hashtag on Facebook in 12 million posts over the course of 24 hours, including a number of Hollywood celebrities. Activist Tarana Burke, who originally used the term in 2006, continues to be outspoken about sexual violence and the silencing of victims. In response to #MeToo, a group of powerful Hollywood women launched the Time’s Up initiative, a campaign to fight sexual harassment and advocate for victims with a legal defense fund.
In February 2018, a former student carrying an AR-15 walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and killed 17 students and staff members. Only four days after the tragic event, a gun control movement was formed. Twenty survivors, including Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Cameron Kasky, began mobilizing for gun reform, organizing a march on Washington that drew approximately more than 200,000, and speaking out on social media using the hashtag #NeverAgain. Several of the students were featured on the cover of TIME magazine in March. Retailers have taken a stand as a direct result: Dicks Sporting Goods announced that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles nor will Walmart sell guns or ammunition to customers under 21. In March, Florida passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act that raised the minimum age to buy firearms.