Before snagging the runner-up trophy on season 8 of “The Voice,” country music artist Meghan Linsey was already somewhat of a Nashville veteran. In 2009 (6 years before her “Voice” victory), the 30-year-old singer won CMT’s “Can You Duet?” alongside fellow-musician and then-fiancé Joshua Scott Jones, giving people a taste of her incredible talent.
But, even though those years of Meghan’s career were laced with victories and triumphs, they were also tainted by sexism and misogyny that can often be found in the music industry — and now, she’s decided it’s time to tell her story.
Though she’s been advised to keep quiet about her firsthand run-in with sexual assault, the 30-year-old singer recently shared a chilling Facebook post where she recounted the time she was mistreated by “a very powerful man in the music business.” Meghan says she was prompted to speak out after hearing about Donald Trump’s latest scandal — “it’s not just ‘locker room talk.'”
“This is lengthy. And as much as I have tried to not talk about the election the last few days, I feel like this is important enough to share. To my friends defending Donald Trump’s disgusting comments about women. When I was touring with Steel Magnolia in 2010, a very powerful man in the music business grabbed up my skirt. He was groping me and proceeded to try to pick me up by my ass on a bus in front of a lot of important people.
“I was mortified and told him not to touch me and to put me down. It caused quite a scene and I could tell that he was embarrassed and angry. The next night he came up behind me and whispered in my ear, he said, ‘I have boats bigger than you could ever imagine, and I could put you in the middle of the ocean where no one would ever hear from you again. Just remember that.’ He laughed and walked away.
“I stood there still with chills running through me. I couldn’t believe what he had just said to me. I knew I had to tell someone. I called my manager and she told me to never breathe a word of that story to anyone ever. I told the head of my label and he told me the same thing. They both said if I wanted to have a career in country music then I could never say anything about it out loud, to anyone.
“Men have done far worse things to me in the past, but this was the first time I was told I couldn’t say anything because of how it would affect my career. Because of how powerful he was, he could do anything he wanted to me. If I wanted to have a singing career, then I had to let him grab me wherever he wanted and he was allowed to threaten me. It was only I who had consequences to pay if I didn’t comply.
“THIS is why Donald Trump’s comments are so upsetting. This is why it’s not just ‘locker room talk.’ Because at the end of the day, it’s NOT just talk. This is rape culture, where powerful men sexually assault women and get away with it because of ‘who they are.’ Donald Trump is one of those men. At first I wasn’t voting for him because I love my African American friends, my LGBT friends, my Muslim friends, my Hispanic friends… But hearing his comments in that tape started to make it even more personal for me. It made me feel like I wanted to vomit, because it reminded me of the many times I’ve been compromised as a woman.
“Rape culture has to stop… If you are calling it ‘locker room talk’ or ‘just what men do’ or saying ‘it was 11 years ago’ or ‘he was just trying to sound cool while talking to a young reporter,’ then YOU are a HUGE part of the problem. I want to live in a world where women don’t have to be quiet anymore. I’m tired of living in a country where 97 out of 100 rapists walk free. I don’t want a president who perpetuates rape culture and sets the already skewed standard for how men are allowed to treat women. Real men don’t talk like that, real men don’t sexually assault and rape women. Period.