Tarana Burke on How We Need to Shift The Narrative Around #MeToo

Tarana Burke on How We Need to Shift The Narrative Around #MeToo

She believes that there has been too much focus on individual perpetrators and salacious stories.

Tarana Burke, the woman who started the #MeToo movement, has said that she believes we need to refocus our attention on what that viral moment was really about. Reflecting a year after the hashtag took over the internet, the activist told The Cut that the narrative needs to be shifted.

Getty Images Gilbert Carrasquillo

Burke believes that there has been too much attention on the individual perpetrators and the salacious stories, rather than focusing on the people that actually said ‘Me too’.

“What actually happened on October 15 [2017] was people raised their hands to say, ‘Me too,'” Burke said. “They opened up and said, ‘Yeah this happened to me.’ And it was millions of people from all walks of life, every stripe, and I really feel like those people still have their hands up.”

Getty Images Frazer Harrison

“We are working diligently so that the popular narrative about #MeToo shifts from what it is. We have to shift the narrative that it’s a gender war, that it’s anti-male, that it’s men against women, that it’s only for a certain type of person — that it’s for white, cisgender, heterosexual, famous women. That has to shift. And I think that it is shifting, I really do. But that’s a part of our work, too.”

Burke went on to explain that while she is hopeful about what the movement can achieve, she has a realistic vision.

“I am under no illusion that sexual violence will end in the next decade, but I do believe that in the next decade, we can shift how we talk about it, we can shift how we respond to it, we can shift how the culture understands it because it’s going to make a difference in the number of sexual assaults that we see. It is going to make a difference in the way we respond to survivors of sexual violence and that difference is really everything. My great hope is that that’s what this work will do.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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