The #metoo movement did not just start in the past two weeks; it started more than 10 years ago. It was started by Tarana Burke. At the time, she was a youth worker when she met a girl named Heaven.
At a youth camp, they had an all-girl bonding session, where several of the girls shared intimate stories about their lives. Burke sat and listened to the stories and comforted the girls. The adults advised the young women to reach out to the youth workers if they wanted to talk some more. The next day Heaven asked to speak to Burke privately. Heaven struggled to tell Burke about her “stepdaddy,” , her mom’s boyfriend, who was doing all sorts of things to her developing body. Burke, horrified by her words, cut her off and directed her toward another female youth worker.
Burke says, “I will never forget the look on her face. The shock of being rejected, the pain of opening a wound only to have it abruptly forced closed again –it was all on her face.”
“I couldn’t muster the energy to tell her I understood, that I connected, that I could feel her pain.”
Burke couldn’t bring herself to whisper the words “me too” to Heaven. Burke said that conversation with Heaven motivated her to start the #metoo movement.
The #metoo movement is not just two little words put together behind a hashtag, it’s a statement, it’s comfort.
It has led many women around the world to share their story and to show others they are not alone. It has allowed others to say #metoo.