Halsey Gave a Righteous, Moving Speech at NYC's Women's March

The singer's poem "A Story Like Mine" is a candid account of her own experiences of sexual assault, and a testament to the fact that most women have similar stories to tell.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
January 22, 2018, 11:11am
Screenshot via Halsey on Twitter.

Over the weekend, women in cities across the world commemorated the first anniversary of the Women's March, which in 2017 fell on the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, by marching again. A year has made quite a difference—late 2017 saw women from every background and industry adding their voices to the #MeToo movement, exposing the breadth and depth of the sexual assault epidemic, and finally turning up the volume on a problem that had only previously been discussed—on any large scale, at least—in whispers.

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Last weekend, then, when women, non-binary people, and their allies gathered, it had new significance, and the speakers involved in the major march, which took place in New York City, reflected that. Many discussed #MeToo, and the Hollywood-centric #Time'sUp campaign, and shared their own testimonies as survivors. One such speaker was Halsey, who shared a powerful poem titled "A Story Like Mine." It candidly recounted her own experiences of sexual assault, as both a child ("The stairwell beside apartment 1245 will haunt me in my sleep for as long as I am alive"), and an adult ("He says I can't say no to him, this much I owe to him. He buys my dinner, so I have to blow him"), and also served as a call to arms, to fight the "war to be won" against this widespread, dehumanising problem.

She also called out Trump's silence on #MeToo, referencing the current proceedings against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is accused of sexually assaulting over 140 young, vulnerable athletes: "It's about Olympians and a medical resident, and not one fucking word from the man who is President," she said. It's rousing and moving, and speaks to an admirable and affecting honesty on Halsey's part, as well as the continuing need for change. Watch the full speech below:

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