Empowerment

Me Too: The Backstory

Five small letters to create one huge social shift in the way we look at sexual assault survivors.

The “Me Too” campaign has been taking over the internet and showing the tragic number of just how many people are victims of sexual assault. These are people that we know personally and we may not have known about their stories before this campaign. But why are these survivors letting their voice be heard now?

The alleged assault cases against Harvey Weinstein have completely blown up the internet and Rose McGowan has shed more light on the sexual assault epidemic in the United States, than the Brock Turner case did.

While both incidents are unforgivable and disgusting, McGowan has shown the path to follow for women who are exhausted of defending themselves against harassment and assault. In her own words, she is a “feminist whistleblowing badass” and “was born with a fist up.” And to be honest, I could not agree more.

If you don’t know what I’m taking about, let me give you a brief rundown of her whistleblowing (with ALL of the receipts).

For months, McGowan was tying to tell her frightening story of how Weinstein allegedly raped her.

She told her story of attending a casting call where she was asked to wear a tight tank top “that show[ed] off cleavage (push up bras encouraged).”

After she spoke out about this demeaning request, she was dropped by her talent agency, which she stated in this tweet:

If you look, you may notice that these tweets were sent out in 2015. Her claims were dismissed by many and she was disregarded as an emotional actress who couldn’t take the pressure of Hollywood.

Following McGowan’s lead, several men and women online and in Hollywood are coming forward with their stories of sexual assault and harassment. This has started and fueled the “me too” movement which you have probably seen online.

The basis behind the movement and the status that I have seen shared multiple times is, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

And it certainly is. Thousands of people are participating in the social movement and by doing so, both men and women are starting to understand the severity of the problem as well as talk about how we can stop it.

This social campaign isn’t the only thing she has started on the internet.

She also started a Twitter boycott on October 13th, after they suspended her account for ‘violating the rules.’ Twitter later said that they had done so due to one of her tweets containing a personal cell phone number.

Within hours, McGowan was back on the platform, rapidly hurtling tweets with a clear message: she is not going anywhere. Co-founder and co-Executive Director of Ultraviolet, Shaunna Thomas says that McGowan has proven that she will not let this story die, like every other alleged rape/assault does in Hollywood. 

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Madison LaBerge is an Arizona State University sophomore. She loves her...