It has been almost two weeks since Alyssa Milano reignited the Me Too movement, using a simple tweet to urge social media users to share their experiences with – or, at the very least, acknowledge – sexual harassment in accompaniment by the hashtag #MeToo. Since that day, millions of women have come forward to share their stories, letting others who have experienced the same horrible events know they are not alone.
Now, men are standing up for all of the women who had the courage to share their stories. They are addressing the problem head on by telling the world how they plan to change, sharing the hashtags #HowIWillChange and #IHearYou
Benjamin Law, an Australian author and journalist, started the movement by tweeting a response to the women sharing #MeToo. He said, “Guys, it’s our turn. After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.”
Guys, it’s our turn.
— Benjamin Law 🌈 (@mrbenjaminlaw) October 16, 2017
But Law didn’t just stop there. He added more tweets about how he will change his behavior when it comes to perpetuating rape culture. He said, “#HowIWillChange: Acknowledge that if all women I know has been sexually harassed, abused or assaulted, then I know perpetrators. Or am one.”
He even shared, “#HowIWillChange: Recognize I don’t need to be a perpetrator to be a bad guy. Questioning harassment, not doing anything about it—all as bad. I’ll do all this without expecting to be congratulated or praised since women do the heavy lifting every other day.”
Law decided that it is about time men take some responsibility for perpetuating rape culture, and he isn’t the only one. After Law posted his response, other men began to jump in and share how they will change as well. One tweeted, “#HowIWillChange I will take a more active role in smashing rape culture in my community without fear of being called a ‘snitch’ or ‘pussy.’”
Another shared, “#HowIWillChange Be vigilant about my insensitivities/coach other men likewise. This women’s issue is a men’s problem-Men need to own it!”
Some men even noted times they failed to speak up after hearing something inappropriate or sexist, saying, “In a meeting, producer made sexist comment, so stunned didn’t call him out. Will speak up next time #HowIWillChange.”
Almost all of these men were surprisingly overwhelmed by the prevalence of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault women have to deal with on a daily basis. One even tweeted, “#MeToo is overwhelming. A much-need tight slap on our faces. There’s no argument whatsoever. #ihearyou and I am sorry. Like never before.”
In an interview with Buzzfeed News, a comment was made “that while it was great the #HowIWillChange hashtag had gone viral, it was also a shame that [Law] was getting any attention when women ‘do this stuff literally every day and just get yelled at.’”
“Guess all I can say is it’s been nuts and heartening to see the response, but also deeply annoying how many men they are who think they’re utter pillars of virtue, and that everyday sexism just isn’t significant when you compare it to rape,” stated Law.
While most of the reactions to Law’s tweet have been positive, there were still those who felt the need to share that they were not a part of the problem. The good news is that men seem to finally be hearing the pleas to end violence against women. They are standing up, taking some responsibility, and making changes.
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