Maude Gorman, a Miss Massachusetts contestant and holder of the Miss Plymouth County 2018 title, resigned her crown after a witnessing a mocking skit about #MeToo that was presented at the pageant. Gorman is a sexual assault survivor herself, and did not take the ‘joking skit’ lightly. The skit was lamenting the ending of Miss America’s swimsuit competition, saying the #MeToo movement was to blame. The skit was supposedly reportedly unscripted and unauthorized by pageant authorities, but Gorman has decided to take a stand and step back.
Maude Gorman always used her pageant platform to speak out and advocate for sexual assault survivors.
Three men raped Gorman when she was 13. She says it took three years for her to open up about the traumatic experience. When she competed in the Miss World circuit in 2015, she won the title for Massachusetts and used her platform to speak about her experience as a survivor.
“As both a survivor, and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence on a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply ‘let this go,'” she wrote in an Instagram post. “Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement. I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING.”
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Today, I officially resigned from the title of Miss Plymouth County 2018. While I’m grateful for the opportunities that @missamerica creates for young women, I am also internally conflicted; as the #metoo movement was mocked on stage during the final competition of Miss Massachusetts. As both a survivor, and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence on a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply “let this go”. Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement. I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING. #metoo #missplymouthcounty #nomore #rainn #surviveandthrive
The Miss Massachusetts organization apologized for the skit in a Facebook post.
Another apology came from the skit’s writer, Rich Allegretto. He said the skit was meant to be a nod to the #MeToo movement, not a jab.
“As a male survivor of sexual assault, it was never my intention to insult or malign a movement that has done so much good for so many of us,” Allegretto wrote on Facebook. “Heartfelt apologies to everyone who thought the joke went too far and was hurt by it.”
Past contestants and fans have celebrated the removal of the swimsuit portion nationwide. However, state competitions feel differently.
Many local pageants are still requiring contestants to partake in swimsuit portion of the competition.
Maude Gorman is not done with her work as an activist, advocate and beacon of strength for survivors.
“There is still so much more work to be done. There is still so much more progress to be made, and justice to be found,” Gorman wrote in an Instagram post. “I will continue to fearlessly defend survivors, and be the voice for those suffering in secrecy. You are not alone #metoo.”
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I woke up this morning to find that my recent interview with @nbcnews went national. Here are a few things you might not know about my work in advocacy: • I’ve helped built houses with my bare hands for survivors of violence • I’ve advocated to elected officials ranging from local Mayors, to State Governors, and even staff at the White House; including the White House Advisor on Violence against Women. •I’ve spoken at national, and international conferences in an effort to speak out more specifically on the effects of trauma on youth. •I’ve worked with several shelters and homes that offer survivors a safe haven in their transition away from abuse •I’ve partnered with leading hospitals, such as MassGeneral for Children, to provide children seeking emergency treatment for sexual abuse a tote bag of resources (including a change of clothes, teddy bear, coloring books, etc) •I’ve published articles sharing my story, in hopes of inspiring others to do the same; and preventing years of painful secrecy • I’ve had my research on sexual violence shared with child life development specialists of the United States Navy at Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia • I’ve presented at seminars with the Uniformed Victim Advocates of the United States Coast Guard at Base Boston • I’ve advocated for the passing of several bills benefiting survivors of sexual violence • I’ve spoken at rallies, protests, and led walks for justice • I’ve volunteered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness as a public policy associate in an effort to stand up for those suffering from PTSD, and depression; just as I have •I’ve met with colleges and universities to discuss response procedures, and have ran awareness campaigns with both RAINN and Start By Believing * I’ve volunteered as a Rape Crisis Counselor, and acted as a Youth Ambassador for the Youth Access to Support Services program with the Center for Hope and Healing And there is still so much more work to be done, there is still so much more progress to be made, and justice to be found. I will continue to fearlessly defend survivors, and be the voice for those suffering in secrecy. You are not alone #metoo
Also published on Medium.