Toronto's #MeToo march to continue conversation about sex assault
Similar march was held in Hollywood, California last month to protest sexual harassment
Nearly two months after accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein opened a floodgate of revelations about sexual harassment and assault, Torontonians are planning a #metoo march on Saturday to continue the conversation.
Alathea Milne-Hines, one of several organizers of the march, said that the idea to hold an event came to her shortly after she started reading #metoo posts back in October.
- Hundreds in Hollywood march against sexual harassment
- Toronto sexual assault, harassment services flooded by calls triggered by #MeToo movement
#Metoo is the social media hashtag used online to disclose experience with sexual harassment and assault.
"I was overwhelmed with this feeling of empathy, as a survivor of sexual abuse myself," said Milne-Hines. "I just felt this feeling my gut, something else needs to happen beyond the social media realm."
Taking inspiration from the global women's marches held last January, she reached out online, ultimately collaborating with other survivors of sexual assault to plan the march, an experience she described as "emotional," and "healing."
Los Angeles march held last month
A similar march was held in November in Los Angeles, with hundreds taking to the streets with banners and posters to denounce sexual harassment in the workplace.
Concerns percolated early in the #metoo movement that the online disclosures would fail to translate into real world action, but Milne-Hines told CBC Toronto "there's no question" that the way society looks at sexual harassment has permanently changed for the better.
"I think people are going to be held accountable and I think people are going to be forced to be different and to engage differently as a result of this," she said, adding there was still much work to be done.
Since allegations about Weinstein were published in early October, a tidal wave of accusations against others have followed, most recently NBC's Matt Lauer and producer Russell Simmons.
- Men question their own behaviour as more women say #MeToo
- Trudeau says Canadians need 'mindset change' to tackle sexual assault
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on #metoo last week, calling the movement "an awakening."