I know (and, most likely, you know) Margaret Cho as primarily an outspoken and bold comedian, but she's more than that — she's a sexual assault survivor and an activist. On Nov. 1, she started a campaign called #12DaysOfRage on Twitter to encourage women to share their stories of being sexually assaulted without fear of tamping down their anger or making their complicated and raw feelings easily digestible — all leading up to a song she's releasing called "I Want To Kill My Rapist."
It's an important reminder from Cho: Often, sexual assault survivors are made to feel like they are broken, and that the proper response to the violence they've endured is sadness, shame, and embarrassment. But the feelings of every sexual assault survivor, no matter how complex or even ugly, are important to acknowledge. They are valid feelings. And feelings of anger are an understandable and sane and even beautiful response to the horror of something as atrocious as someone using your body without your consent. Anger leads to action, and activism, and bravery. The people sharing their stories on Twitter using the hashtag #12DaysOfRage are brave, brave people; their voices are truly more powerful than the cowardice of their attackers.
Take a look at some of these tweets and see for yourself. Major warning: some of this stuff is a bit graphic, and especially if you have been touched by sexual assault in any way, there's a chance you may find some of the testimony by these survivors disturbing — even so, their accounts are important and worth sharing. (All tweets have been shared here with permission of their users.)
"Predators are extremely cunning and they know what they are doing," one of the participants above, Livia Scott, wrote in an email to Bustle. "It happened to me, it happened in some form or another to just about every friend I have — men and women."
Cho, meanwhile, has been personally responding to many of the people who tweet using that hashtag on her Twitter account. "We are strong together," she tweeted to one survivor. "And we are never alone."
It's not the only awesome thing Cho has done in recent days; right before starting the #12DaysOfRage campaign, she contrasted her experience of sexual assault with her past as a sex worker, calling out people who automatically conflate the two (and echoing Amnesty International's recent call for sex work to be decriminalized worldwide, which the organization frames as a human rights issue):
Combine all this with her funny and thoughtful interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show recently, and I'm pretty excited to see what Cho's going to do next.