To My Sisters, Still Reeling from #MeToo.
In a culture so confusing that a young woman who was sexually assaulted doesn’t know if she was, there is a terrible problem.
In a system in which the recently raped woman is subject to medical rape to attain criminal proof and then her samples are left to die in a storage room with thousands of other samples from re-traumatized victims who were abused by the people who were sworn to help them, we have a terrible problem.
In a society that normalizes and legalizes murder, abuse, rape and violence against women, minorities, children, elderly, mentally ill, low-income and other vulnerable populations, we have a responsibility to refuse to obey.
When a woman is coerced, pressured, medicated, confused or unable to say no for any reason, she cannot and did not consent. This is rape. The society you live in is not going to validate you or help you find justice.
But your sisters will.
You are not alone. I was raped too.
I will always trust you when you tell me someone has harmed you.
And I will always blaze so hot that you can forge your sword in my fire.
The collective rage in women is rising in response to #MeToo. Kali Ma is roaring, her daughters are screaming, the sky is on fire, and the world feels like too much.
My body barometer feels like a thermometer, the mercury is rising, and the lava and the rumble beneath the sea are quaking awake.
My own rage is mine to manage, but this is of the collective. Many of us are only now realizing that being sexually assaulted has been normalized to the point that we don’t even realize that almost every woman in our lives is living with the scar of this.
Why didn’t anybody tell us? So many of us living with this unbearable isolating secret shame, this grotesque self-distortion from looking through the shards of a shattered mirror, and seeing nothing else.
Not realizing that the support and validation we so desperately needed to heal, was living across the street or in the next room or standing with us in an elevator or drinking fine wine with us, watching a sunset. And laughing.
Because it’s only okay to cry alone. Because we didn’t think anyone would understand. Because it seemed to us that we had somehow misperceived our own experiences, and we let others tell us what we should believe about it and ourselves instead.
These messages are delivered directly and indirectly to women every day, and the answer is for women to talk to each other. To speak our truths in sister circles. To bear compassionate witness and to practice managing reactionary trigger behaviors that short-circuit our ability to be responsive instead of reactive.
You may not remember that women fought in battles because they were fierce and because they were magic, and when women release a collective battle cry, entire empires crumble. Every. Time.