“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” -Maya Angelou
Authors, like Maya Angelou herself, provide us with pieces of literature that give our society an avenue to address the sensitive issues that many people who have experienced either feel unable to share or are not ready to talk about. The epidemic of sexual violence against women is just one of the many prominent topics that are difficult to discuss today; however, authors Louise Erdrich and Patricia McCormick were two of many brave women to not only write about it in an elegant way, but also give readers two different perspectives: one from a victim and one from someone affected by violence against a loved one. Each story allows us to dive deeper into understanding how sexual violence is more than a women’s issue, it’s a societal problem, an idea central to the Me-Too movement.
In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the Me Too movement in efforts to raise awareness about the sexual abuse many women face. The movement gained significant traction in 2017 after actress Alyssa Milano’s tweet seeking to provide women, who had also experienced assault, with a place to speak out. Millions of individuals have retweeted #metoo and it has since become a viral phenomenon. By empowering one another to speak out against injustices, a wave of change washed over the United States, specifically in Hollywood. Many actresses and other celebrities took to the stands and told their narratives of the sexual harassment they experienced in the workplace, thrusting the crusade for actions into the lime light.
#Metoo has become a powerful way for many victims of sexual assault to share the untold story inside themselves and for supporters of the movement to stand in solidarity with them.
Recognizing the problem and working to make a change with an issue as big as sexual violence is a step we must take in order to eventually reach gender equality.