This past year we experienced a phenomenon in the world of social media that trickled into the “real world” quickly and effectively. I am talking about the short and to the point little hashtag #metoo.
If you somehow managed not to hear about this wild-fire, it began with actress Alyssa Milano (or social activist Tarana Burke, depending on who you are talking to). She took to Twitter and encouraged women everywhere to simply post the hashtag #metoo if they had experienced any kind of sexual harassment or assault.
She posted that on October 15th, and within the first 24 hours, there were almost 5 million posts on Facebook, and about 500,000 tweets using the #metoo hashtag.
Women Across the Globe Finding Their Voice
Since then, there has been a sort of reckoning across the world, as more than 85 countries have taken part. Jobs, power and status have been lost by many men, while women everywhere are finding their voice — even if only to say those two small words “me too.” They have become part of the collective, part of the uprising of women who are finding a limit within themselves, one that is crying out, fists raised, saying No More.
This movement is powerful, but only because of the silence, both chosen and enforced, that came before it.
Why is it that so many of us struggle with obtaining the elusive freedom to acknowledge what is and what is not true about ourselves? Why is it that so many of us cannot find our voice unless someone else speaks up first?
Knowing Who We Are
Two important questions we need to look at are who are we, and more importantly, WHY are we.
Why are we here? Why are we given a brain to think, a heart to feel? Why do we feel the pull of connection and community? Why does that community have the ability to also cause unbearable pain?
As a Christian, I believe we are all precious, valuable, and have eternal worth. We are image bearers of a communal God, made to live as He does, with love, kindness, patience. And as His creations, we are made to bring Glory back to HIM, to be part of the Hands and Feet of Jesus, so to speak.
It is easy to use your own voice for your own advancement and then stop there. But when we understand the truth, that our voice has been given to us — a gift from a God who sees all, who hears all — we see that part of the responsibility of having a voice is to use it to protect those who have lost their own.
If you have the freedom to use your voice, speak up for those who cannot. If you have the power to to use your voice, speak up for those who cannot. If you have the community in which to use your voice, speak up for those who cannot.
Your Voice Matters
Do not believe the lie that your voice doesn’t matter. You have a voice, which means, it matters.
Injustice is everywhere in this world and when we have the courage to speak up, it sets people free. I am a writer for All of Us Matter which is an organization that equips people with practical ways to fight human trafficking.
We may not be able to end human trafficking or sexual abuse with one word, but your voice, your voice, may help protect someone in your circle — if you only have the courage to use it.
Speak up and embolden others to say #MeToo, or better yet to say #UsToo, because your voice may just break the bonds that have ensnared another.
Remind others who they are. Remind others whose they are. Help them to step into the power that resides in them, a sleeping lion, waiting for a chance to roar.