By Lisbeth Valentin ’18
What is the #MeToo campaign?
The #MeToo campaign is a movement created by Tarana Burke. Burke is a program director for Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity.
Burke started the campaign after talking to a 13-year old girl who had been sexually abused. After the conversion she had with the 13-year old girl, she created the Just Be Inc., a nonprofit organization.
The #MeToo campaign encourages victims of sexual harassment and assault to speak out using the hashtag that gave her movement a name.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”
Student thoughts on the situation
Senior Daniel Segovia, when asked about his feeling towards sexual harassment, stated, “I think it shouldn’t be allowed, but there is always a loophole to everything, and sex offenders will find away around it.” Segovia included that people should speak up and not be quiet. Additionally, people who have been sexually harassed should not have to deal with the pain that they experienced after the incident has happened.
Eric Cuzco, senior, also weighed in on the topic by stating, “I feel like it happens everywhere, and no one does anything about it. It affects more women than men. You don’t really hear men getting sexually harassed, but when it comes to women, society makes a big deal about it.” While Cuzco had a strong opinion on the situation, he also stated that women should not feel uncomfortable talking about sexual harassment. Also, they should feel comfortable going out and not worrying about getting sexually harassed.
Brandon Valladares, also a senior, stated, “Sexual harassment is a big issue that gets very little attention. What I mean by this is how people try to play it off and how they get away with it. For example: President Donald Trump. He made multiple sexual comments about women saying how he’ll grab women by the p***, judging women by their appearance.” Valladares used the 2017 presidential election comments made by president Trump in order to emphasize how little is being done to prevent sexual harassment and bring justice to those who were victims of it. Additionally, Valladares wants women to speak out about sexual harassment because no one deserves to be sexually harassed.
The #MeToo has been used by both men and women. When asked about who gets sexually harassed more Segovia stated, “Women because men’s mindset is not to the same as a woman.” When asked to clarified himself, Segovia said that women were able to handle a situation better than men. In the other hand, Cuzco stated that women get harassed more because they are more vulnerable than men. Valladares also made a comment on the social trend of objectifying women, stating, “I feel women get sexually assaulted more than men because some men view women as objects. I notice mostly in the news how it’s always a men sexually harassing a women. Its horrifying seeing these events because till this day these issues are still a big topic.”
Boys and girls have seen sexual harassment in different ways for a long period of time. Barbara Garcia, current senior, when ask about her feelings towards sexual harassment, stated, “I am strongly against it because there is no excuse to this ever being okay. I feel like being harassed can occur to any gender and I don’t believe the victims of this ask for it.” Garcia went on to explaining how the way a person acts or dresses should not make them target for people that have no respect and an ignorant mindsets.
Garcia stated that even though talking about sexual harassment may be difficult, women should speak up, “especially due to society’s unfair treatment and perception of women.” Speaking about sexual harassment should be something that is a topic of discussion, which will help prevent it from happening to other people.
Victims, whether female or male, should speak up about sexual harassment in order to prevent it from happening to other people. Don’t be afraid to speak up.