#MeToo: Campaign against abusers begun in 2007, only ‘hashtag’ came in last year

New Delhi: The MeToo campaign that has taken take over Bollywood and other sectors as well in its grip was first triggered by American actor Alyssa Milano who had posted a tweet on October 15, 2017, urging women to speak up against the harassment or assault they have suffered at the hands of men.

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” Milano had tweeted exactly a year ago. Her tweet came just ten days before, The New York Times had published the shocking details of Harvey Weinstein and how he had misused his power to silence his victims, Indian Express reported.

A lot of abusers have been unmasked in this #MeToo campaign in India where women are coming forward to reveal the ugliest and most influential men who have misused their power over the decades.

Milano’s invitation spread like wildfire on social media, and the #MeToo floodgates were thrown open across the world, including in India.

Many women from all walks of life are coming forward t finally speak up against these men and their abusers.

But what everyone is unaware of this MeToo tag was first coined by an American civil rights activist Tirana Burke decades ago in 1997 who was then left “speechless” when she came across a 13-year-old girl survivor of sexual abuse.

She could not help the girl survivor then while a report in The New York Times had quoted Burke as saying she “didn’t have a response or a way to help her in that moment, and I couldn’t even say ‘me too’… It really bothered me, and it sat in my spirit for a long time”.

Finally, Burke launched the formal MeToo campaign in 2007, the hashtag only came in last year.

Milano’s tweet had launched the movement across the globe and had been retweeted more than 24,000 times and liked 52,754 times until Tuesday.

While on Facebook, the hashtag #MeToo was used for more then 12 million times within the first 24 hours with millions of women across the world using the hashtag to share their stories they have hidden for years now.