New York magazine Cosby cover: #TheEmptyChair expresses support for survivors of sexual assault.

The Twitter Hashtag #TheEmptyChair Combats the Silence of Rape Culture

The Twitter Hashtag #TheEmptyChair Combats the Silence of Rape Culture

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
July 27 2015 12:30 PM

New York Magazine’s Cosby Cover Inspires a Great Twitter Hashtag: #TheEmptyChair

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Courtesy of New York magazine

Late Sunday evening, New York magazine commanded what seemed like the entire Internet's attention with the collected stories and portraits of 35 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. As New York's Noreen Malone and Amanda Demme put it, the women are “an unwelcome sisterhood.” For the magazine's cover, each of the women was photographed seated in a chair and gazing into the camera; the last chair sits empty, symbolizing all the women who can’t come forward with their stories.

As of early Monday morning, the magazine’s website had undergone a distributed denial of service attack; the site is still down as of this writing, but an archived version is available here. It's unclear what the hacker's motivation is, but the coincidental timing couldn't be more appallingly apt, given the culture of silence and shame that journalism like Malone and Demme's is trying to change. To combat the still mysterious censor of New York and to offer support to all survivors of sexual assault, Twitter users began using the hashtag #TheEmptyChair. Below is just a sampling of the countless messages so far. To see more, click here.