Rebel Women: On October 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano shared a simple hashtag: #metoo. It was to be a watershed moment that inspired millions of people to take a stand against misogyny and sexual violence. This tweet was not, in fact, the first usage of this slogan. Tarana Burke, an African-American civil rights activist from The Bronx, had previously used it in 2006 to highlight the suffering faced by poor and working class women, particularly those from minority backgrounds. Milanos tweet, then, sparked an incredible moment, but it also revealed how a movement can emerge in an uneven fashion, and with its own contradictions.
Still, there is no doubting that something enormous has occurred. The dam is breaking, the wall of silence is crumbling and millions of women and others are finding their voice to oppose sexism. How do we get from this moment to a movement, and from then from that movement to liberation? This is the subject of Rebel Women, a new series that will explore the politics of women’s oppression, and the ideas we need to win real liberation.