In October 2017, the #MeToo movement, originally started by activist Tarana Burke, became a global phenomenon when actor Alyssa Milano posted a tweet asking survivors of sexual assault to retweet and say “me too,” with the aim of bringing widespread awareness to the cause.
CBS reported that within a week the hashtag was used in 1.7 million tweets.
The ensuing months found international attention shining a light on the severity and scale of sexual assault. Mobilizing #MeToo opens a window into some of those discussions.
This episode features Veronica Lawrence, co-founder of the Society for the Advocacy of Safer Spaces (SASS). Lawrence discusses how SASS is helping implement policies to make the music scene more accountable.
“I think it's really hard for people to reconcile that somebody can be a really great person and a really great musician and really, really, really smart and really nice and really funny but also doesn't recognize women's boundaries,” says Lawrence.
Lawrence says that in the small music communities within Calgary, after learning that someone you potentially care about has done something awful, “it's really hard to reconcile that in your brain for a number of reasons… part of that, I think, is that we've all sort of been trained to think that sexual assault is perpetrated by the bad man in the bushes, and the ‘stranger danger’ and all these things that we grew up hearing about.”
To hear more, listen to the third episode in this series:
Mobilizing #MeToo: In the Music Scene
Mobilizing #MeToo: In the Music Scene is the final episode in this series. To listen to episode one about sexual assault on campus where the Calgary Journal talks to Cari Ionson of Mount Royal University, click here. To listen to episode two about the way sexual assault cases are covered in court, click here.
- By Amber McLinden and Robyn Welsh