By Martha Quillin
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As the social media world embraced the #MeToo hashtag, men such as John Pavlovitz joined the conversation, wondering how they could ease the pain their wives, sisters, mothers and friends have suffered, or how they could prevent it from occuring in the future. By midweek, #IHearYou started springing up on Twitter as an encouraging response.
As Wake Forest minister John Pavlovitz watched his Facebook and Twitter feeds fill up in recent days with the proclamations of friends, family and acquaintances that they had been victims of sexual assault or harassment, he thought the wrong people were baring their souls.
The victims, most of whom are female, shouldn’t have to announce “Me too” on social media to help the world grasp the ubiquity of sexual violence and harassment, Pavlovitz wrote in his blog, “Stuff That Needs to be Said.” It should be the perpetrators and those whose silence allows the behavior to go on.
“We should not be expecting women to further make themselves vulnerable just to wake our consciences up and to call us to places of decency and accountability that we should already be aspiring to,” said Pavlovitz, who lives in Wake Forest and heads up the teen ministry for North Raleigh Community Church Downtown. As men, he wrote, “We should be the ones stepping from the shadows right now.”
On Sunday, in response to the scandal of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is accused of sexual misconduct and harassment, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted an invitation to those who have been sexually assaulted or harassed to speak out by responding with the words “Me too.”
Saying it was a friend’s idea, she wrote, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”