The recent Me Too movement has taken social media by storm. However, its roots actually go back farther than 2017/2018, when it gained popularity.
The movement was created by a group of black women on social media in 2006, with Tarana Burke at the center. The first use of the words “Me Too” in this context comes from these black women that have survived sexual harassment/assault, yet the movement only gained popularity and really entered the public sphere 11 years later. Why is this? Could it really be because she’s black?
Well, simply put, yes it can be. The movement went relatively under the radar until celebrities such as Alyssa Milano (who are not black) began to speak on the allegations piling up against Harvey Weinstein.
So what makes this dystopian? The fact that the voice of the black woman has been muffled so long, for more than a decade. The fact that black women are never taken as seriously as their white counterparts when it comes to matters such as sexual harassment (which really speaks to the effects of slavery in terms of the perception of the black woman’s body). And also the fact that no one really seems to want to be involved in a black woman’s movement until a white woman signs on. These are all dystopian aspects that can be handled with a little more sensitivity and definitely a greater sense of urgency. When a black woman speaks, we should listen, instead of waiting for a white woman to say basically the same thing.