Discourse Analysis of the Me Too Movement’s Media Coverage

Discourse Analysis of the Me Too Movement’s Media Coverage

Throughout history, people have always been treated differently, depending on their gender, skin color, race, religion, gender orientation and identity, age, and many other factors. That is why society provided the unequal power between men and women. Ladies have been abused by men in all parts of the world and this violence against them still takes various forms nowadays. The #MeToo Movement is a socio-political movement, whose goal is to eliminate discrimination against women, as well as gender equality. Through courageous actions, people broke the silence about forms of sexual violence, which are too often tolerated. Since then, they have continued to speak out and demand certain measures. The essay clarifies the meaning and the origin of the movement #MeToo, indicates its importance, examines its influence on society from different points of view, and informs about its consequences.

Me too definition and origin

The movement has swept the planet with a wave of frankness and forced humanity to look at what they have been turning a blind eye to for centuries. It was launched by an African American activist Tarana Burke in 2006. American human rights activist began using the important phrase “Me too” on Myspace in defense of survivors of sexual assault, particularly as it targeted women of color. However, soon in 2017, the famous actress Alyssa Milano supported this idea by spreading it. Milano was one of the artists who accused the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of violence. On Twitter, she announced, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet” (Hosterman et al., 2018, p. 69). Her phrase gained quite a lot of popularity and the tweet had 55,000 replies the next morning, then became one of the most discussed topics on Twitter. Soon, this post moved to other platforms and social networks, including Facebook (Hosterman et al., 2018). As a result of this, people united to solve a common problem.

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The Importance of the Movement

Today, the sexual assault, harassment or abuse still occurs in a variety of circumstances. This problem is illustrated by a 1995 cross-sectional survey conducted at the Academic Medical Faculty. It showed that most of the respondents were exposed to sexual violence: About 30% of women and 4% of men among U.S. academic medical faculty members reported harassment in their careers (Lee, 2018). Most sexual assault victims are women, young girls, and transgender people. Men are less likely to suffer from sexual violence, but some of them have been faced terrible consequences. Many victims remain closed and unsociable after “the incident”; They are afraid to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with other ones. Sometimes, love, care and support from friends and relatives are important for them in such difficult situations. As a result, Me Too finds ways of stopping this before it happens, supporting and helping survivors to feel safer.

The Actions Taken by Me Too Movement’s Activists

The reaction to the hashtag, which began in October 2017, turned out to be phenomenal. Milano posted the text through her Twitter, “We might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem” (Fileborn & Loney-Howes, 2019, p.25) and the world has changed cardinally.

A lot of persons consider that the problems should be solved by individuals together, no one can stay in the shadows anymore. The social media campaign generated substantive global media coverage; Ladies were no longer afraid to speak out in public about their own experiences of sexual harassment (Boyle, 2019). #MeToo has begun to act and take the most important measures. Efforts were established at the international level to address the problem of systemic inequality and injustice. Harvey Weinstein, as the “initiator” and the “instigator” of a worldwide scandal, was sentenced to 23 years in prison (Fileborn & Loney-Howes, 2019). Consequently, Me Too has shifted the norms surrounding sexual harassment in publicplaces, workplaces, and educational institutions.

The Impact of #MeToo on Society

The #MeToo movement continues to reverberate around the world and gather like-minded people. Accusations are being made against both public figures and influential ones. As the result – the progress in politics, actions, and changes in the worldview of people and the society. In most cases, a lot of people and organizations have taken measures to solve the pressing problem and improve support for women. At the same time, some are still skeptical and see only negative impacts and reactions in this movement. There is no doubt some truth to all these claims. For this reason, #MeToo is inextricably intertwined with many other social trends, and it is partly difficult to determine the true impact.

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The Results of the Movement. The Consequences

Of course, the long-term impact of #MeToo remains to be seen, but one can already say that the movement has already had a significant influence and is going leave a mark in the future. Now, many countries have already introduced laws concerning the protection of employees from sexual harassment. Besides, the United States Congress concluded that it is necessary to pass the BE HEARD Act, making it easier for victims of harassment to receive justice and creating safeguards. Now, in the United States, some survivors receive not only moral support, but also financial restitution. These measures will help spur a cultural shift and put a stop to the problem once and for all. In general, one can positively note the impact of MeToo. Now most male and female are more likely to talk about harassment. Men and women should understand that they can maintain appropriate boundaries and at the same time develop friendly relations. Only in this way, women will be able to achieve parity with the opposite gender.

Conclusion

To sum up, one can say that #MeToo has had a wide impact not only in Hollywoodand the United States as a whole, but also at the global level. People continue to retweet and support Alyssa Milano; They tell stories about their experiences and share their own opinions about gender inequality and the injustice of men towards women and transgender people. The movement is known by its unity and indifference to other people’s problems. Starting from the state and ending with a small enterprise, every activist of the movement makes an enormous contribution to a better life and development of society. Even today, Me Too can share their significant achievements – many people have revised their views on women, discarding all biases and prejudices. Certainly, that will take a certain amount of time to achieve all the rights that activists are fighting for. Therefore, the ones who are paying attention might act and participate to achieve the shift and change.

References

Boyle, K. (2019). #Metoo, weinstein and feminism. Palgrave Pivot, Cham.

Fileborn, B., & Loney-Howes, R. (2019). #Metoo and the politics of social change. Palgrave Macmillan.

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Hosterman, A. R., Johnson, N. R., Stouffer, R., & Herring, S. (2018). Twitter, social support messages, and the #metoo movement. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 7(2), 69-91. Web.

Lee, B.H. (2018). #Me too movement; It is time that we all act and participate in transformation. Psychiatry Investigation, 15(5), 433. DOI.

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