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Subhead: This is how they roared!

Ola Elshaar

Most of us have been through this. Some of us struggled to move on and leave the humiliating abusive behavior behind their back. Others are just not capable of tolerating the repetitive act. I have experienced physical harassment, but for some reason, I’ve always tended to react and take action even if all the reasons “not to” were against me.

#MeToo is a hashtag that went viral for several days on social media. Every woman or young girl who has been sexually harassed or assaulted posted “#MeToo” as a status, to give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Millions of people interacted with the hashtag and showed support by retweeting it in a matter of hours.

The viral hashtag was popular on the internet in response to the recent sexual assault and rape allegations aimed at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. It went viral by the women who have experienced any form of sexual harassment or sexual assault. More than thousands of women among them actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow have made accusations against Weinstein including rape and sexual assault, while in the meantime Weinstein insists that sexual relations he had were consensual.

After the #MeToo social media campaign, men have used other hashtags like ‘#ItWasMe’ and ‘#IHave’ to express guilt or involvement in sexual harassment and assault. What made it more relevant to all of us that 3 million men joined the #MeToo sexual assault hashtag. It all started when actress Alyssa Milano asked her followers to speak up about sexual abuse; she said women should merely tweet #MeToo if they had been sexually harassed and assaulted.

I’ve seen it myself, men all over my Facebook newsfeed are admitting their experience with the disturbing behavior. And it made me wonder, so most of us have lived the most hurtful, harmful, and painful moment in our lives when we experience harassment, so who the heck has all this offensive nature toward other people if almost all of us has been in the same boat?

Despite the great appeal, the campaign is still getting a lot of criticism from some people who thought that the hashtag put a heavy load on survivors to name themselves as victims, and I kind of agree with that. Labeling myself as a “victim” would bring us nothing but negativity. You don’t want to be downbeat, facing the world with low self-esteem and broken dead soul because of a bunch of sadistic monsters.

I think it’s time for us to spit it out, get it out of our system, talk about it, react and never let them get to you. You shouldn’t be ashamed; there is nothing shameful about you when you go through this. People who harass, assault or perform any hurting to other people are the ones who should be feeling guilty and ashamed.

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