A Rhetorical Analysis of the Public Sphere through the #MeToo Movement
Opening ParagraphWeinstein, Cosby, O’Reilly, Ailes, Spacey, Bush—all names added to a list that is changing how people are talking about sexual assault. “Sensational stories of rape are no longer confined to tabloids but are now part of ‘normal,’ ‘everyday’ news for a large section of the population.” The age of online and social media sites has altered not only when and how people get news but redefined what is and is not public. The #MeToo movement appeared on Twitter in the fall of 2017 in the aftermath of the Weinstein allegations and spurred several other male Hollywood power players to face similar allegations. These “Silence Breakers” went on to claim the 2017 Person of the Year cover of Time magazine for “giving voice to open secrets, for moving whisper networks onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop accepting the unacceptable.” I argue that the #MeToo movement confronts the issues of sexual assault and consent within the public sphere by providing a space for those impacted by the rape culture to counter the dominant discourse and potentially alter the future narrative.