Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversation

Alyssa Milano
Updated 17 October 2017
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Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversation

NEW YORK: Alyssa Milano was in bed with her two young children when a friend of a friend on Facebook suggested something that struck her as a great way to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation. She took the idea to Twitter, posting: “If you have been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.”
That was Sunday night. By Monday night, more than 53,000 people had left comments and thousands of women had declared “Me Too,” sharing their stories of rape, sexual assault and harassment across social media, including some for the first time.
The hashtag was tweeted nearly half a million times in 24 hours, according to Twitter. Some left it at, simply: “Me Too,” without explanation, and a small contingent of men have posted: “I Have,” noting shock at the groundswell and remorse for their own past misdeeds.
Milano said the idea was to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation, placing the emphasis on victims rather than perpetrators and offering a glimpse into the number of women who continue to be victimized. The disgraced film mogul has been accused by more than three dozen women of harassment or abuse.
“My hope is people will get the idea of the magnitude, of just how many people have been affected by this in the world, in our lifetimes, in this country,” Milano said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “The most important thing that it did was to shift the conversation away from the predator and to the victim.”
Lauren Taylor hopes “Me Too” grows into something more than a passing hashtag. She shared her own story as well.
Growing up in Washington, DC, she recalled near daily street harassment, from men yelling vile things at out of car windows to boys chasing her as she rode her bike. A longtime women’s activist, the 60-year-old Taylor founded a training organization 20 years ago called Defend Yourself, helping women learn “empowerment defense” to ward off physical and emotional attacks in all aspects of their lives.
“The ‘Me Too’ thing has had a transformative affect that is more complex than people probably thought in the beginning,” Taylor said. “Women are disclosing that they have been harassed, attacked or abused, sometimes for the first time, and if it is not for the first time, it is for the first time this publicly. The sheer number are unbelievable, and a lot of men are saying, ‘Really, that many?’”
From New York where she now lives, 30-year-old Texan Aly Tadros added her voice on Facebook.


Indonesia woman irked by mosque noise convicted of blasphemy

Updated 21 August 2018
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Indonesia woman irked by mosque noise convicted of blasphemy

  • Prosecutors said the 44-year-old defendant violated the criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam
  • The maximum sentence for blasphemy is two years

MEDAN, Indonesia: An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman who complained about a noisy mosque to 18 months in prison for blasphemy.
The ethnic Chinese woman, Meiliana, burst into tears as presiding Judge Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo announced the sentence Tuesday. She was taken from the court in handcuffs.
Prosecutors said the 44-year-old defendant violated the criminal code by committing blasphemy against Islam, the dominant faith in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
Mobs burned and ransacked at least 14 Buddhist temples throughout Tanjung Balai, a port town on Sumatra, in a July 2016 riot following reports of Meiliana’s complaint about a mosque’s noisy loudspeakers.
The woman’s lawyer, Ranto Sibarani, said the sentence would be appealed. A conservative group, Islamic Community Forum, said Meilana’s sentence was too light.
The maximum sentence for blasphemy is two years.
Indonesia’s Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and religion but in recent years blasphemy cases have been filed against those perceived as offending Islam. The overwhelming majority end with guilty verdicts.
Last year, the minority Christian and ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta, the capital, was convicted of blasphemy and imprisoned for two years after massive street protests over comments seized upon by his political opponents.
Judges imposed the sentence despite prosecutors downgrading the blasphemy charge to a lesser offense.