#MeToo, but was I included? The rhetorical framing of the origins of the Me Too movement

Based on mainstream media reporting, it would seem that in October 2017 the Me Too movement was a result of American actress Alyssa Milano’s prompts following the sexual assault allegations against American film producer Harvey Weinstein. The hashtag was quickly used to bring awareness about the magnitude of violence against women. Through some of the early reporting, it was brought to light that the movement was started over a decade earlier by Tarana Burke, an African American activist, who used the phrase “me too” to unite and help heal African American girls and women who had been sexually assaulted. Using a framing analysis and feminist standpoint theory this paper investigates how the origins of the Me Too movement were represented in newsprint reporting . Findings indicate three competing frames have dominated discussions : 1. sexual predators as an inspiration for the movement; 2. Alyssa Milano as the originator of the movement; 3. Tarana Burk as the originator of the movement. This article concludes with a discussion of the implications for African American women voices based on the frames presented in the mainstream media coverages that were analyzed.