Professor Ian Barnard
In 2017 actress Alyssa Milano sparked the #MeToo movement as most people know it today. Unbeknownst to many, however, a black woman named Tarana Burke began the Me Too movement a decade earlier after working with survivors of sexual assault. As more and more injustice through discrimination comes to light, it is important to recognize privilege where it exists and what it allows to happen. This project is an analysis of the rhetoric of the #MeToo movement that aims to prove that this privilege is the problem with the movement. I intend to demonstrate how the use of Twitter to advance the movement is problematic because of its reliance on privilege and audience, things that even now are difficult for any non-white person to possess. In addition, I aim to show how the #MeToo movement has mostly succeeded in raising awareness but has largely failed to take any real action in changing the systems that allow widespread sexual harassment to take place. My research includes news articles, survey statistics, and interviews about the aftermath of the #MeToo movement and what has or has not changed, along with various tweets reviewed for both their content and their platform. This research is analyzed to support my conclusion that #MeToo is only the beginning of what needs to happen in order to eliminate sexual harassment.
Mann, Tara, "#MeToo: Why Twitter Doesn't Do Enough" (2020). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 408.