There are many things that can divide a common collective, even for the most worthy cause. Differences in cultural or even sub-cultural beliefs can generate pause or slow a movement down.

But sometimes there is something so horrible that it transcends boundaries. An atrocity so damaging it even permeates the safe guards of wealth & social class, fame, education and lifestyle.

It’s sexual assault.

In the not too distant past, the idea that something so terrible happens regularly, widely, and indiscriminately was a crazy notion no one wanted to believe, much less address.

But with the onslaught of high profile sexual predator allegations, from film executive Harvey Weinsten to multi-millionaire rapper Nelly, and thanks to a hypothetical question posed by Senator Elizabeth Warren asking for a sign (something only slightly less imperceptible as silence) in the form of two words, it has been made clear to the world that it is happening – across cultures, religious affiliations, social circles, skin color, age or sexual preference – even to the most powerful and the most famous women in the world.

Two words: #MeToo

Women have taken to Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo to show solidarity and to share their secret burden. No other words. No stories. No allegations.

This is how movements are born.

Artwork: Jessica Valenti