back to top

Men Are Sharing How They Will Change In Response To #MeToo

Australian author and journalist Benjamin Law started the hashtag, asking his followers (and men around the world) to consider how they respond to the viral #MeToo movement.

Posted on

Days after the viral #MeToo movement began following a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano, men are sharing how they will do better with #HowIWillChange.

Guys, it's our turn. After yesterday's endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange.

On Monday Charmed star Milano tweeted out an idea suggested to her by a friend: "If all the woman who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'me too,' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem," she wrote.

If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.

The tweet led to women all over the world sharing their experiences of sexual assault, finishing it with the hashtag #MeToo.

The #MeToo campaign is not actually new — activist Tarana Burke started it 10 years ago as a way to connect with survivors — however Milano's tweet to her 3.2 million followers was a catalyst for the movement's explosion on social media this week.

The viral campaign comes after reports from the New York Times and The New Yorker, earlier this month detailing multiple allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape, against American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Advertisement

On Tuesday, Australian writer and journalist Benjamin Law wrote a message to his followers on Twitter. He wanted to respond to the woman online who had been posting #MeToo. "Guys, it's our turn," he said. "After yesterday's endless #MeToo stories of women being abused, assaulted and harassed, today we say #HowIWillChange."

Law outlined multiple ways men could help change and take responsibility for their role in rape culture, complicit or otherwise. Some of his suggestions included regular donations to a women's shelter in your area, confronting other men you know on sexism and assault, and recognising that "anything we offer to do using this hashtag is already done by women every day."

#HowIWillChange: Acknowledge that if all women I know has been sexually harassed, abused or assaulted, then I know perpetrators. Or am one.

#HowIWillChange: Recognise I don't need to be a perpetrator to be a bad guy. Questioning harassment, not doing anything about it—all as bad.

#HowIWillChange: I'll do all this without expecting to be congratulated or praised since women do the heavy lifting every other fucking day.

Law's tweets — which went viral in Australia and later, globally — sparked other men into tweeting with the #HowIWillChange hashtag.

#HowIWillChange Learning more about women's issues instead of expecting them to explain to me how they are impacted https://t.co/CtbgJQsY5b

Advertisement

#HowIWillChange : I'll accept & in fact embrace the discomfort of pulling men up on lame & snide jokes, derogatory… https://t.co/KQZb2hVUG4

I will never blame a victim, and I will never stand and watch as a man makes unwanted advances on a woman #HowIWillChange

#HowIWillChange: I will listen to women more closely, seeking to understand before seeking to be understood. Then,… https://t.co/XlEernaKxl

#HowIWillChange I will keep showing my 3 sons and one grandson how to honor & respect women. Guys - meaningful change starts in the home.

#HowIWillChange means acknowledging MY OWN capacity for harmful behaviour, and taking responsibility for unlearning that toxicity

#HowIWillChange I will take a more active role in smashing rape culture in my community without fear of being called a "snitch" or "pussy"

#HowIWillChange I will never stay quiet and ignore sexual harassment & abuse. Men need to take action and stand up for others.

Reaction to the #HowIWillChange campaign has been mostly positive, but a few men have messaged Law to say they are "not part of the problem."

Lots of fragile dudes in my mentions insisting they're "not part of the problem". You're the definition of the prob… https://t.co/b1VGYjf4sH

Law told BuzzFeed News that while it was great the #HowIWillChange hashtag had gone viral, it was also a shame that he was getting any attention when women "do this stuff literally every day and just get yelled at."

"Guess all I can say is it's been nuts and heartening to see the response, but also deeply annoying how many men they are who think they're utter pillars of virtue, and that everyday sexism just isn't significant when you compare it to rape. (Spoiler: it's still fucking shit)," he said.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

Promoted