Around this time last year The New York Times and The New Yorker published their investigations on the horrific accounts of sexual violence by film producer Harvey Weinstein. It opened up the conversation around sexual harassment and sexual assault not just in Hollywood and the film industry in general, but also in our society thanks to the #MeToo-movement.
What started in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke got widespread attention after Charmed-actress Alyssa Milano posted a photo inviting all women to share their stories of sexual violence with the hashtag MeToo. She wanted to show the magnitude of this problem in our society after so many people seemed to be shocked by what happened with Weinstein.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) 15. Oktober 2017
Inspired by the courageous stories of women everywhere, Lori Perkins decided to publish a book about this new era. Only a month after the Weinstein-story broke, #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How To Make Sure It Never Happens Again was published. This book contains 25 essays about analysis of predatory behaviour to really horrific stories told by survivors. I’ve been to tears many times reading what some women had to endure.
Not all of those essays have been interesting to read, some were boring or in one case incredibly bizarre. However, I do think that #MeToo was worth a read. One, the book is free if you buy it as an ebook. (And who doesn’t love free books?) Second, reading the stories of other people surviving any form of sexual violence helps you understand the issue more, why people keep it quiet and if you are a survivor yourself, reading about fellow survivor’s bravery can help you brave your own #MeToo-moment. At least that is what I felt.
One thing that kind of bothered me about the book was that I felt like it was published too quickly. With some of the essays it seemed as though they were rushed and the order in which they appear seems so random. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading #MeToo, as much as you can enjoy reading about a tough subject, anyway.
My favourite essays in this collection where the one about Patricia Douglas, who seems to be the first actress to call out film studios about sexual harassment in 1937, how it was working for the Weinstein company, Miramax, and the one about how women tend to protect the men around them by not talking about their experiences with sexual violence. I never knew about Douglas and I’m glad that I now know her story.
Have you read #MeToo? What did you think? Would you like to read the book? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
* ad: This book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Riverdale Avenue Books and Netgalley!
Title: #MeToo: Essays About How and Why This Happened, What It Means and How To Make Sure It Never Happens Again
Editor: Lori Perkins
Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
Publishing Date (first publication): 03-11-2017