Since the hashtag #MeToo, originally begun by Tarana Burke back in 2007, was revived on social media last week as a battle cry for awareness regarding sexual harassment and assault in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, it’s done much to give scope to the magnitude of the issues at hand: CBS reports that more than 12 million posts, comments, and reactions to the hashtag have emerged in recent days.
And yet, the movement hasn’t been entirely without its critics, who note that participation largely places the brunt of the actions necessary for social change on the victimized women being called to come forth and share their stories, rather than on the very men who perpetrated them. Calls for new hashtags, such as #IDidThat, #HimThough, and #HimToo began to arise.
Now, there’s hope for yet another campaign, as #HowIWillChange has emerged as a way for allies to respond in a positive, forward-moving manner. With a focus on commitment to address the issues we can no longer accept, this new social movement directly challenges men to declare how they’ll help remedy the problem.
The hashtag was born earlier this week when writer Benjamin Law was moved to speak out after seeing all the “#MeToo” tweets with stories of sexual assault and harassment. He took to Twitter to call out his peers, writing, “Guys, it’s our turn. After yesterday’s endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.”
Taking the lead, Law tweeted the ways in which he intends to make change, including regularly donating to women’s shelters, calling out sexism in men he knows and reporting them for rape (“I have less to lose than women doing the same”), and recognizing that he doesn’t have to be the perpetrator to be the bad guy (“Questioning harassment, not doing anything about it — all as bad”). Furthermore, he promised to do it all “without expecting to be congratulated or praised since women do the heavy lifting every other f*cking day.”
Luckily, his call didn’t go unanswered: Check out some of the other responses to the tag below.
While #HowIWillChange may be just a tiny dent in the work that needs to be implemented by such promises, it’s certainly a sign that people are no longer willing to sit by silently as abuse and harassment continue. Let’s keep the momentum of change rolling.
What do you think about #HowIWillChange? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Photo via Jason Connolly/Getty)