The hashtag #MeToo went viral over the weekend, with thousands of women sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault on social media.
Seeing this unfold, a Sydney-based writer named Benjamin Law decided to start another conversation—about what men like him can do so that future generations of women don’t have these same experiences. “Guys, it’s our turn,” he tweeted Monday evening.
Subsequently, Law and a number of other men on social media wrote out a list of ways they plan to support women, accompanied by the hashtag #HowIWillChange.
One of Law’s main arguments was that one doesn’t need to engage in harassment or assault to be part of the problem.
Some men pledged to sacrifice their “social capital” and rid themselves of fear of being called out for being “snitches” for calling out sexually predatory behavior.
Others planned to support women through formal volunteering and community organizing.
Dads and granddads promised to teach their sons about the right ways to treat women.
Of course, there were some naysayers, arguing that because they never assaulted anyone, they are not part of “rape culture” and therefore don’t need to change.
Those men were shut down quickly.
If anything, the hashtag has helped to identify men who are women’s allies in the fight against harassment—and those who are not.
The #MeToo hashtag went viral thanks to a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano in the wake of the sexual assault and harassment allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (he denies all accusations). The two-word response was the brainchild of activist Tarana Burke.