Challenging the Social Order of a Patriarchy Through Social Media Activism: The Case of the Greek #MeToo Movement


Greece’s traditionally patriarchal society was shaken by the emergence of the Greek #MeToo movement in 2021, enabled by social media’s speed and networked power. However, two and a half years since the movement’s emergence on Greek social media and mainstream news media, its legacy and long-term impact on Greek society are still being questioned. Although much research has examined the global #MeToo movement as an instance of feminist social media activism with international dimensions, research on the Greek #MeToo movement is still emerging. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining the Greek #MeToo movement as a feminist social media activist movement that momentarily challenged the social order of Greek society by extending Thompson’s (1995) theorizing on the mass media’s potential to alter the social order and Papacharissi’s (2011) concept of “private sphere” activism on social media. During the Greek #MeToo movement, social media allowed public figures and ordinary citizens to make disclosures of sexual harassment and assault and form networks of solidary around heavily publicized cases of sexual violence, bypassing the mainstream Greek news media that has traditionally not taken a social justice stance on these cases. However, feminist social media activism also involves the risks of igniting misogynistic backlash and reinforcing existing societal polarization. Although social media activism may potentially push forward news discourses in society, a more systemic approach is needed to spur change in other institutions of society, such as law and education.

Author Information
Tatiana Harkiolakis, The London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2023
Stream: Media

This paper is part of the ECAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Harkiolakis T. (2023) Challenging the Social Order of a Patriarchy Through Social Media Activism: The Case of the Greek #MeToo Movement ISSN: 2188-1111 – The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon