After Amber Coffman tweeted about Heathcliff Berru's alleged sexual misconduct last month, Bethany Cosentino was one of the first of many other women who came forward with stories of their own.
In a recent essay for Lenny Letter—a newsletter overseen by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner—Cosentino discussed the decision to share her experience. "I had never shared my story publicly because I was afraid of the backlash that I might receive or that I would come across like some kind of wrathful bitch," she wrote. "After I read Amber's tweets, I decided it was time to tweet in support of her. I wasn't just one of his victims—I knew plenty of other women who had their own 'Heathcliff stories.' After I supported Amber, the floodgates opened. Women started writing how they had felt personally victimized by his actions... As much as it pains me to see these stories from so many women, stories that go back as far as ten years and are as recent as only a few months ago, I am so glad that this situation was finally brought to light and that these victims now have a supportive bond and can provide strength to others who may want to come forward."
Cosentino then addressed other forms of sexist abuse that she faces daily: "People need to stop calling women 'bitches' because they're strong and empowered. People need to stop calling me a 'slut' for my public support of Planned Parenthood, an organization that has saved my life as well as many other men's and women's lives. People need to stop calling me a 'whiny baby' because I write songs about heartache and my feelings. Did anyone call The Beatles 'whiny babies' for singing the lyrics, 'This boy wants you back again?' Did anyone call them 'desperate' or 'needy' for singing 'Oh please say to me / You’ll let me be your man / And please say to me / You'll let me hold your hand?'"
Read the full letter here.