PROGRESS FOR #METOO
When activist Tarana Burke first coined the phrase, “Me Too,” way back in 2006, it was a specific rallying cry for women of color who had suffered and been silenced by sexual assault. It took another 11 years before the phrase entered mainstream culture and became the hashtag of the year — one that erupted onto screens and forever changed the way we talk about sexual discrimination and abuse.
Today, there's inspiring proof that the Me Too movement has fueled real world change too according to a new study by the National Women’s Law Center tracking the impact of the movement and covered in VICE. Since 2017,15 states have either passed new laws or strengthened existing ones that protect employees from sexual discrimination, harassment and gender discrimination. New York was highlighted in the report for taking the most legislative action out of them all, taking steps including but not limited to extending the statute of limitations to file a harassment or discrimination claim and mandating anti-harassment training and policy requirements for employers.
While much of the #metoo attention has focused on the high-profile victims and perpetrators in equally high-profile industries, the focus of the NWLC was to create tangible protections and change for everyday Americans, particularly the most vulnerable individuals suffering silently across less glamorous, everyday fields. Their next goal is “20 by 2020,” a call for 20 states to step up and make these legislative changes too. It’s definite progress, not perfection, one state at a time.