The #MeToo movement founded by Tarana Burke ten years ago has recently gained a spotlight in the media after posts from women across the world went viral on social media. Women shared their heartbreaking stories of sexual harassment and assault using the hashtag “MeToo.”
When asked about what inspired her to begin this movement, Tarana Burke stated, “For too long, survivors of sexual assault and harassment have been in the shadows. We have been afraid to speak up, to say ‘Me Too’ and seek accountability. For many, the consequences of doing so have been devastating.”
With all of this sensation in the media, there is one voice that is consistently being left out: Generation Z girls. No one seems to care how we fit into all of this.
Personally, I see this as a major issue, as our generation is the generation that has grown up with technology with the potential for danger, specifically social media. Social media apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook provide platforms f
or teen girls to be targeted by sexual predators.
With societal pressures of what girls are “supposed” to look like and act like now constantly surrounding them on their smartphones, these twisted ideals are being engrained into the minds of young girls. Whether a girl tends to be more confident or more insecure, imagine what the affects of logging onto Instagram every day and seeing an add for Skinny Tea can have?
With the potential to now become “Instagram famous,” girls see these images that appear to make the lives of these other young women seem “perfect.” The concept that no one’s life is perfect may seem simple, but it is ea
sy to fall into a trap of comparing oneself to others.
This social media culture is reinforcing the idea that women are “sexual objects” meant to look a certain way and post certain pictures in order to please the men who will view their posts. While young men are bettering themselves, many teen girls are wasting hours looking for the perfect outfit, applying layers of makeup, and figuring out the best caption for their picture that they are planning to post on Instagram later.
Ultimately, the way we are going to change our current culture that consistently demeans women is that we use the #MeToo movement to empower young girls. We need more role models that show girls that they are much more than their appearance.
Women leading movements of social change must provide a platform for young girls to have their voice heard, otherwise they will not fully understand the most affective way to solve this issue, and thus allow this issue to continue for another generation.
By: Emily Koehne’18, Senior Editor-in-Chief