KARACHI: Not many people know that the #MeToo movement was originally started in 2006 by an activist, Tarana Burke, to raise a voice against the pervasiveness of sexual assault. However, the hashtag got more traction on social media after American film producer, Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault in 2017. Of his many victims, Rose McGowan was one of the first to speak out against him.
If the memory of the incident itself was not traumatic enough, the journey after her public accusation was also difficult. After Weinstein landed in jail, the survivor went to Mexico in order to heal with the help of a therapy dog.
Only last week, McGowan joined Ayesha Omar on an Instagram Live session to speak about her journey.
McGowan revealed that she had no friends supporting her when she came out with her story and realized that she was on her own. Though the survivor herself was never ashamed of what happened to her or afraid of labeling Weinstein as a rapist, she believed that the world was not ready for the truth until 20 years after the incident.
“I want women to know that they have been sold a lie that it was always going to be a man that was going to rescue them,” McGowan shared with Omar as she spoke about being her own supporter. According to her, women are sent into the world to be ‘polite with their hands tied behind their back’, which results in so many of them not being able to recognize the monsters they are surrounded by because they are never taught what to look for.
The author of Brave further elaborated upon a culture that enables men to exploit their power, one that has to be cleaned up after an explosion, much like a messy closet which is untidy before it can be put into order again.
During the conversation, Ayesha Omar also hinted towards her own experiences with sexual abuse at the hands of a powerful man in the Pakistani entertainment industry when she was only 23 years old and at the beginning of her career.
The live chat ended with the two women feeling slightly more optimistic about the world and seeing it move towards a better version for all, and a promise to return with a similar conversation the following week.