Me Too is a movement that has been around for a decade now, which recently went viral after the Harvey Weinstein accusations came out. Tarana Burke started the movement in 2007 out of a desire to empower other survivors through empathy and have space where survivors could connect. Burke is also the founder of the youth organization Just Be Inc.
“It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow,” Burke told Ebony magazine. “It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”
Alyssa Milano restarted the Me Too movement unknowingly when she tweeted out for other survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.
While Burke says it’s “powerful” to see the hashtag trending. “What’s happening now is powerful,” she says. “And I salute it and the women who have disclosed but the power of using ‘me too’ has always been in the fact that it can be a conversation starter or the whole conversation ― but it was us talking to us.”
Burke says that as a survivor of sexual violence, she used the phrase “me too” to connect with others who had survived similar situations, specifically women of color.
“[I was] trying to find a succinct way to show empathy,” Burke said. “Me too is so powerful because somebody had said it to me and it changed the trajectory of my healing process once I heard that. Me too was about reaching the places that other people wouldn’t go, bringing messages and words and encouragement to survivors of sexual violence where other people wouldn’t be talking about it.
“The point of the work we’ve done over the last decade with the ‘me too movement’ is to let women, particularly young women of color know that they are not alone ― it’s a movement.”