On October 15, actress Alyssa Milano urged people who had experienced sexual harassment or assault to share the hashtag “metoo” in the hope that it may help people understand “the magnitude of the problem”.
Within 24 hours, Facebook reported that there had been more than 12 million posts, comments and reactions by 4.7 million people around the world. On Twitter, 1.7 million engaged with the hashtag in a matter of days.
Milano’s call-out struck a nerve with women in the wake of the sexual assault allegations levelled at heavyweight Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. At last, a man of substantial influence and wealth, was being held to account for his behaviour. At last, after decades – no, centuries – of denials, dismissals and even persecution, the accusers were the ones wielding the power.
But that online uprising, and the swell of bravery and push for accountability that came with it, probably wouldn’t have happened were not for President Donald Trump.
Listen: Holly, Mia and Jessie talk about why the #MeToo TIME cover was so important and how we couldn’t have the reckoning without Trump. Post continues below…
This was a man who was accused of sexual assault by no less than 10 women in the lead up to his election last November. A man who said his wealth and influence meant he could touch women’s genitals without their consent: “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.” A man who