Don’t be afraid to say #metoo


Photo credit: Sofia Gallegos

Edgar Mendoza, Staff Writer

The #metoo movement has lost sight of its initial purpose, becoming tainted by its use as a celebrity spotlight and lack of a system that provides both ready help and protection for both accusers and the accused.

The movement was originally intended to help survivors of sexual violence, as stated on their website. It was founded on the ideals of truth and justice, to allow all victims to have a voice.

This ideal has instead become a means by which celebrities can gather a following and accuse other big personas of sexual crimes in order for a quick five minutes of fame.

In fact, celebrities have begun to tailor the movement to fit their own ideas, in turn costing the movement much of the unity it was intended to create.

Each persona has strayed further from the roots of the movement than the last, which is beginning to leave victims in a state of confusion.

With each person picking and choosing what parts of the movement they wish to represent, those who are not celebrities, but also suffer from sexual crimes are left having to decide between multiple interpretations of the movement.

This system of rallying behind a celebrity has begun to instill fear into those who have experienced a sexual crime, as they are unsure if their voice will be heard over those of the celebrities, or if it will just be another ignored case.

This celebrity selling point has also allowed non-celebrity offenders to get away with sexual crimes without prosecution.

Yet, if a celebrity is accused or if a celebrity does the accusing, blame is immediately attributed to the one accused of the crime.

This system is broken and unless we fix it, sexual offenders will get away with crimes and the victims will never be able to reach out because there will no longer be anyone to take their hand and guide them.

Those accused will simply have to sit and live with the consequences, and the movement will become nothing more than finger pointing followed by unjust sentencing.

The ray of hope and justice will die unless we do something about it.

We cannot put the victims at a crossroads, wondering if speaking will even get them the help they need, or if the one responsible for their suffering will be tried.

We must remind everyone to remember what the movement was created for, and use the wide reach of celebrities to allow those whose voice cannot carry across the world to speak up.

Instead of altering the definition of #metoo, we need to use it to create one community as it was in the beginning.

We are all stronger together, and we cannot be together if everyone sees the movement in countless different ways or uses it for their own unjust personal gain.

Something as simple as setting up a fund for victims who come forward will go far in reassuring them that there is help available to them.

Furthermore, if a victim comes forward, there must be a set of steps to follow to ensure that they get the help they need and that they are listened to.

If someone is accused of a sexual crime, there must be steps to ensure that they are not immediately assumed guilty merely because a celebrity made the accusation.

These systems of fair judgment and support along with a fund that ensures no one is left without support can balance the scales of justice once more, and we can be the ones to keep them that way.

This movement was created to provide help and justice for everyone, and it is time it did that once again.

It is time we can truly tell victims of sexual assault, do not be afraid to say me too, because we will listen to you.