The #MeToo movement is only getting stronger.
Ellen DeGeneres joned the social media crusade in Thursday's episode of her talk show. #MeToo was started by Alyssa Milano, who tweeted, "If all women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote #MeToo as a status, we might give people a sense of magnitude of the problem." Millions have done just that, and DeGeneres is proud of them. "I think it's brave. I think it's important to speak out and not be shamed by anyone," she said. "It is not always easy, but we have to do that. That is why I posted and I will say it right now out loud—me too."
Though many actresses have made headlines for writing #MeToo as a status, DeGeneres said, "This is not a male thing or a female thing. It is not a Hollywood thing or a political thing. This is a human thing. And it happens in the workplace, it happens in families, it happens all over the world, and we are all the same. We all want the same thing—we want respect and love and kindness. And if I could have those three things—and a new iPhone 10—I would be complete."
Jokes aside, DeGeneres argued that "part of the problem" is that from a young age, "girls are taught to stay quiet and be nice" while "boys are stronger and somehow, [girls] are less than."
But there is "power in numbers," DeGeneres said. "Good for everyone speaking out."
"Women and even some men are sharing their stories on Facebook and Twitter—some of them for the first time. And people are 'liking' or 'thumbs upping' or 'hearting' the post. And it's hard to know which is the right response. Is it a crying face emoji, 'cause I'm sad that that happened to you? Or is it a smiley face to say, 'Good for you for speaking out?' I'm not sure about the etiquette, but I do know that hell hath no fury like a woman with a Twitter account. So, you have to be careful about what you tweet, because if you see a tweet that says, 'I can't wait to see the new Star Wars movie' and then you respond, 'Me too,' it means something completely different now," she teased. "So, you're going to have to find another way to say, 'I also' or 'Me as well' or 'Ditto' or 'Samesies' or something like that. And if you really do want to see the Star Wars movie and you've been sexually harassed, you can respond, 'Me too, me too.' You know?"
Opening up a dialogue and raising awareness should, in theory, make sexual assault and sexual harassment less commonplace. "It's fantastic that everyone is posting the hashtag and also taking some time to share their stories," DeGeneres continued. "As hard as this is to talk about, at least we are talking about it. It's not like this is a new thing; it has been going on forever."
DeGeneres, whose guests include Lindsay Arnold, Jordan Fisher, HAIM and Dax Shepard, added that social media reminds people they are "not alone" in times like this. "Hopefully the conversations we're having now will free all of us. If you're a parent, we can break the cycle and teach our little girls and our little boys that girls should be strong [and] boys should be kind."