In recent years, hashtags on Twitter have acted a megaphone for feminist battlecries. “Hashtivism” as it has come to be known, has opened up an online space for feminist discourse and propelled the way we’re talking about feminist issues online. In recent years, various hashtags have fueled conversations surrounding women’s issues and feminism. Hashtags like #BindersFullOfWomen, #RapeCultureIsWhen, and #YesAllWomen caught on like wildfire when they were first launched. Yet, most of the voices that get lost in Twitter’s throng of vocalization are those that come from women of color. Women whose accounts of sexual abuse ought to be heard because of the very different conversations they spur.
In the latest feminist hashtag to go viral on Twitter, Latinas are speaking up and refusing to not be heard.
Over the weekend, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note encouraging women to speak up about their assault stories.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
In a tweet on Sunday, Milano sparked further online discussion about the recently pried open Harvey Weinstein scandal. While Milano’s tweet sparked the viral hashtag, social justice leader Tarana Burke has been getting credit on Twitter for starting the hashtag years ago. Since Milano’s tweet, thousands of women who are of color and not, are sharing their experiences. The result has been a passionate onslaught of diverse voices.
And while it’s sad to see so many women how similar stories of assault to share, it’s empowering to see the number of Latinas coming forward with their own stories.
— Elianne Ramos (@ergeekgoddess) October 16, 2017
The number of Latinas tweeting with the hashtag is particularly empowering to see considering how many are have felt pressure to stay silent.
Even celebrities are stepping in to share that they’ve endured the same.
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) October 16, 2017
Milano’s call to action quickly took off with retweets and posts by celebs like Rosario Dawson, Debra Messing, Gabrielle Union, and Lady Gaga.
Most of the hashtags were filled with words of support and love.
140 isn’t enough for #metoo trend, but- I am sorry, it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t deserve it, & there is hope for healing at any age.
— Ann Caballero (@annbcaballero) October 16, 2017
140 characters can’t do these women and their stories justice. Still there’s hope that the hashtag will bring about some forms of healing.
Unlike previous hashtag trends which have encouraged women to tell their stories, #metoo allows women privacy and empowerment.
#metoo is a powerful campaign , but it has led many of us through a painful road of remembering things we had struggled to forget.
— Renata Segura (@renaticas) October 16, 2017
Previous hashtags that touched on assault might have dissuaded users to participate in the viral trend. With the new hashtag women are able to take part in an effort that amplifies the voices of all women.
Latinas aren’t the only ones using the hashtag to tell their stories either. Fortunately, Latinos are using it too.
Me too. I don’t know if means anything coming from a gay man but it’s happened. Multiple times.
— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) October 15, 2017
And we’re so grateful to see that all Latinos want to share their story because sexual harassment should not happen to anyone. Punto.
The #MeToo movement is unique in its effort to show the scale of women who’ve endured sexual abuse. The hashtag is not so much about the story, it’s about revealing a real problem all women have to deal with. If you’re not ready to share your story, you don’t have to. And that’s okay, the rest of us have your back!