My sisters, survivors of sexual abuse and rape, I feel your pain.
It is crushing, this unthinkable glorification of misogyny, this enshrinement of assault. The bully king has been crowned, and we’ve been dragged back to the cave just as we were poised to shatter the highest and most exalted glass ceiling.
Only Icarus has fallen farther.
It is heartbreaking, even to us, whose hearts are wrapped in so much scar tissue that our loved ones forever must gently work their way back in. We dared to hope, to trust—and our worst fears were realized.
It is exhausting, and I don’t just mean the sleeplessness. It’s the relentless necessity of explaining something so facile to the human race: this body is mine, and no, you cannot do to it what you will.
There’s this thing called consent. It’s important, for f*ck’s sake.
And yet, here we are, with the most gleefully thick-headed of them all as our President-elect. It is mind-boggling at best, trigger-inducing at worst. Dealing with it demands our best selves—on steroids.
Few know better than we that the past cannot be undone, and so once again, we move forward. One foot in front of the other. One moment at a time. Once more up the hill with the godforsaken rock.
It is what it is.
But we are who we are.
What faces us now is simply a new spin on an old horror. Though never on this scale, we’ve been to this rodeo before. We may have to dig our heels in more deeply this time, but I have faith that we can turn this nightmare around.
I have faith because these bodies of ours have been hollowed out by hate, yet come back to embrace worthy lovers.
I have faith because we’ve delivered ourselves as surely as we’ve delivered our babies.
I have faith because our race, religion, sexual orientation, size, age, marital status, whatever—all of these sad, silly human constructs vanish when we connect, one to one, soul to soul.
I have faith because I have seen what you, my sisters, are made of.
So now—right now—I send you love.
I send you strength.
I send you hope, and grace, and calm.
I send you the power to raise your voice to the heavens, and to lay your body down in the street if you must.
Because if we must, I know we can.
Yes, I feel your pain, but I feel your divinity, your strength, your power too.
Let’s keep the faith together.
Dark times call for that much more light.
Author: K.C. Wilder
Editor: Toby Israel