College of Arts and Sciences
September 2017 marked the rebirth of the #Metoo movement where women who have experienced sexual harassment and/or assault were asked to unite and become visible through the use of ”#Metoo.” #Metoo exists at the intersection of gender exploitation and toxic sexuality in an effort to spotlight the prevalence of sex based violence. #Metoo: Not my movement explores the multiple facets and identities this viral hashtag has excluded: the LGBTQ community, women of color, as well as the male population. Unfortunately the viral reboot of #metoo erased from its memory the creator, a woman of color trying to create a safe space full of resources for those who have faced traumatic events resulting from rape culture. To further unpack the implications of this reboot, I utilize the theoretical framework of gendered rhetoric and linguistic vulnerability. As such, I present four tenets for critical analysis including: inclusion, reconceptualization, gender diversity, and oppression/liberation. Each framework is used to examine the vulnerabilities and exclusions within the social media campaign. My critique positions the #metoo campaign experience as a privilege for those who can speak out and those who can afford to ‘out’ themselves as survivors. Additionally I suggest a dangerous implication surrounding #metoo results from the campaign diminishing survivors to a single hashtag and invalidating the complexity of traumatic experiences. This movement fails to recognize the human being behind the hashtag, the body behind the social media account, and the experience that is their own unique story. Instead of creating social change to dismantle rape culture and violence, this campaign exploits vulnerability. Save the body, not the hashtag.
Damico, Brooke, "#Metoo: Not My Movement" (2018). 2018 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference. 1.