#METOO grabs attention of South students

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Students participate in the new hashtag #METOO

BY BRIANNA JONES-RUPP & CRISTINA SEVIER

Recently there has been a new hashtag going around on the internet called #METOO. The hashtag is about sexual assault/harassment happening to women everywhere. The hashtag was made to spread awareness about sexual assault.


“Sexual harassment is a violation of women’s human rights and a prohibited form of violence against women in many countries,” according to the Stop Violence Against Women. “Sexually harassing conduct causes devastating physical and psychological injuries to a large percentage of women in workplaces around the world. Harassment directed against women in the workplace by their supervisors, fellow employees, or third parties interferes with the integration of women in the workforce, reinforces the subordination of women to men in society, violates women’s dignity and creates a health and safety hazard at work.”

Studies from Women’s Media Center show women in the U.S have been sexually assaulted and the rates are continuing to increase. A 2008 survey showed that 98% of women who live in major cities have experienced some form of street harassment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, some 50 to 80% of women in the U.S. experience some form of sexual harassment during their academic or work lives

“It is important because this affects a lot of people,” Dayrie Bupp, 11, said. “And this includes two people. Someone who was in the wrong and the other person gets hurt. And for assault, in general, to not have awareness is crazy to me. Because of how many people it affects or how many people do it. And more than half of the time stuff gets thrown away left and right. I think it is really good this awareness is getting out there.”

In a survey of girls in middle schools and high schools that was distributed in Seventeen, 83% of the girls who responded reported instances of sexual harassment in school.

“I think #METOO creates a solidarity between people,” Jillian Toung, 10, said. “If you are uncomfortable with going to the authorities then you can just get the attention of someone to do it for you or not being afraid to show that it happens. I think #METOO won’t stop sexual harassment but it will definitely bring awareness which is really good.”

The hashtag was created in hopes to bring sexual harassment to an end or at least to a minimum.

“I think #METOO is a really good idea, I think it encourages women to come forward when they might otherwise be scared of telling their stories.” Toung said, “I definitely think sexual assault is a very big problem and women are really scared to come forward and I think it is good women in the entertainment industry are coming out and telling their stories but normal people can use this hashtag to spread awareness of their own stories.”

#METOO was created by women for women. Although, men are the negative side of this hashtag, they can also be seen as victims.

“ I think the hashtag is important because we kind of have lived in a society where men have had more power than women and even though times have changed  some things haven’t changed and I think hashtags like that they create kind of like a forced wave of change,” Arman Rahim, 12, said. “They bring those important issues to the frontline that sometimes people will ignore or choose not to speak up on and sometimes it’s easier to just use a hashtag than say maybe write an essay about something or make a speech about something so even just using a hashtag can show that you can stand up against whats wrong.”

Students participate in the new hashtag #METOO