Founder of the Me Too Movement, Tarana Burke is in Kelowna to speak to students and the public March 6. Sydney Morton/ Kelowna Capital News

Founder of Me Too movement speaks in Kelowna

Tarana Burke says the movement has the ability to shift society’s perception of sexual violence

It’s no longer socially acceptable to light a cigarette in an enclosed building because of the risks of secondhand smoke for others.

Tarana Burke the founder of the Me Too Movement, that evolved into a hashtag and took off like lightning through social media news feeds around the world almost two years ago, and lit Hollywood as we once knew it on fire, hopes that society will view sexual violence in the same way as smoking.

“If someone lit up a cigarette (in a building) you would be appalled…but that wasn’t the case 30 years ago. They didn’t even think about it, they would smoke on planes and in offices. So you can change people’s thinking and shift the way people relate to one another,” said Burke.

It’s not about your own health, it’s about other people’s health. So we have evidence in our world that there are shifts in understanding, thinking and in our culture, it can happen… we need to be aware of how do we reimagine our lives so that we look down on sexual violence as something so distasteful like smoking, like drug use… to make sure people don’t have this experience in their lives.”

READ MORE: ‘My happy place’: Workspaces for women rise in #MeToo era

READ MORE: Karl Lagerfeld’s final Chanel show

Burke has risen to the forefront of media focus, however the activist has been pounding the pavement for her grass roots movement for 25 years, and first wrote ‘Me Too’ on a piece of lined paper in 2006 when she was frustrated with the amount of sexual violence in the world and the way it is spoken about. She says that what the movement has become most known for does not resemble what she first set out to create.

READ MORE: Camp Hoo-Ha unites women in Kelowna

READ MORE: ‘MeToo’ painted on statue of WWII sailor kissing nurse

“I don’t think it will ever be what it was when I started because it started as a grass roots movement in the South (Alabama, U.S.) so I think that coming up on two years, we are able to shift the narrative so that more people understand that it’s more expansive then what the media would lead you to believe. It’s more expansive then a hashtag, it’s all encompassing in ways that we don’t really get to see represented on a day to day basis. I don’t think it will ever be what it was… People who said, “Me Too” were talking about the entire spectrum, not just being harassed at work or just what is happening in Hollywood. They were talking about their real lived experiences.”

READ MORE: Alcohol, legal liability and the #MeToo movement at the staff Christmas party

READ MORE: Jennifer Schell’s been fooding around the Okanagan, see what she’s found

Burke says that the media, though it has helped raise her voice, has failed to share the narrative that features the spectrum of sexual violence and that the movement has not scratched the surface of what is has yet to accomplish alongside the media such as questioning authority, sharing the stories of people with different sexual violence experiences and expanding the coverage of the topic instead of focusing on the celebrity angle.

“I think the media’s role is a big one. I think that people have also been socialized in a way to think about sexual violence in a way that is incredibly small,” said Burke. “The other side of things is I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the media, we wouldn’t be able to have this platform and talk about sexual violence the way that we do.”

Burke spoke at UBC Okanagan College March 6 to help students understand their role in the Me Too Movement as students as well as how to handle sexual violence on campus. Burke will also speak at the Kelowna Community Theatre March 6 at 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Tickets are available at www.events.eply.com

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@sydneyrmorton
sydney.morton@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mikkal returns to roots for Vernon show

Lavington artist plays Record City alongside VonReason and Grandpa Gruv

Pet Planet picks up Lumby’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

Record rotary auction makes Okanagan dreams come true

Kalamalka Rotary Club donates more than $194,000

Vernon RCMP seek people on outstanding warrants

Trio sought by Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP for various infractions

VJH Foundation announces 2019 Hospital Gala

The event is set to take place Vernon Lodge and Conference Centre on May 11.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Update: Highway 3 near Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Indigenous students recognized at ceremony at Okanagan College

The ceremony recognizes that students are getting an education while holding onto Indigenous background and teachings

Most Read