Everyone likes the idea of being included and unified through any means necessary. Those means can include anything from sheepishly purchasing products from internet trends and fads to self-diagnosing yourself with the latest mainstream mental illness, or engaging with hashtags. The message behind the #metoo movement is fantastic and empowering, however, some conflict ensues - stirred like oatmeal as the phrase is overused, borrowed, and/or abused.

Hashtag trends are trends too

This movement was ignited by a conversation between Tarana Burke who sat across from a teenage girl who had been a victim of sexual abuse back in 1997.

This opened the door for Burke to start the conversation despite the difficulty in responding to an ineffable conversation such as this. Burke started the nonprofit organization, Just Be Inc., to help combat sexual harassment and assist sexual assault Victims in overcoming their adversity and give them a platform to speak their mind. She titled her movement: Me Too. Actress Alyssa Milano caught wind of this two-word expression and lent her voice to the viral beginning of this trend, although it had commenced years earlier with Ms. Burke. It is a little odd that Ms. Burke, a woman of color, had not received any support from white feminists until the actress picked up the baton and ran with it.

It is unfortunate that we need to use a forum like Twitter to voice our stories, instead of the police where measures can be taken to put predators and criminals behind bars.

However, this movement is turning into an unorthodox and ludicrous facsimile of a female-only courtroom, and this should not become a trial by Twitter, because that is not how justice works. There is, however, an unfortunate statistic of allegations and false accusations, so relying on truth is a bit more complex than 160 characters can detail.

How does the conversation start?

It is difficult to walk on eggshells communicating to someone about a triggering topic like sexual abuse and harassment. Fortunately, the advent of #metoo has brought forth a talking point to help further the conversation in a somewhat fluid manner. There are two conflicting matters that have risen to the surface because of this social media movement. Firstly, feminism is intersectional and should be openly accepting of all women, without racial scrutiny or vetting in order to be welcomed. Ms. Milano did not give credit to Tarana Burke for originally creating the #metoo movement, and never referenced Burke anywhere within the 160 characters of her tweet. Luckily, Ms.

Milano corrected her mistake, however, this movement needs steadfast and consistent support from allies, friends, and families of victims.

Alyssa Milano has brought together women from 85 countries who have come forward about their experiences with sexual assault and abuse.

Sympathy through experience

Let’s analyze the phrase #metoo. "Me too" according to Merriam Webster is “relating to the adoption or imitation of another person’s views or policies, often for political advantage.” It also connects yourself to someone else’s situation.

This might seem, at face value, like an attempt to reassure the person that they are not alone, but it is an informal fallacy of logic called equivocation. You can’t equivocate all victims and group them together. Each person has their own story, their own situation, their own circumstance. This equivocation takes away meaning from the seriousness of sexual assault and abuse as an issue, and it then becomes a competition. Indirectly, it’s like saying, “Hey, I had it worse than you did.” That is not the type of conversation we want stirring around social media, undermining the victims of terrible crimes to no fault of their own. Again, this movement is doing good by starting the conversation, but the secondary (and I believe unintended ) motive is to play rock-paper-scissors with victim stories until there is one woman standing.

Where does the problem end?

This movement was great – in spreading awareness of the realities of sexual assault, but it doesn’t direct us towards solutions to prevent sexual assault and abuse from happening. Talking about this is great, having those meaningful conversations is great, but where are the solutions? A common solution I have noticed was to pen some creative responses to men as a collective, like “let’s smash the patriarchy,” and “#killallmen,” and “mansplaining,” which only shift the conversation from preventing sexual crimes, to blindly shooting arrows at men hoping that they shot a sexual predator (when it could have been any man). I don’t know what magical potion I could sprinkle on this earth to stop all crime, but this trend could spread awareness to possible solutions. I hope that this movement produces solutions so that this issue can be resolved - if not dissolved.