Me Too: An Open Letter to Mayim Bialik from a Rape Survivor
Mayim Bialik, you are fucking garbage. I grew up watching you on Blossom and used to watch you on the Big Bang Theory, but no more. Judging by the op-ed you recently penned for the New York Times about the Harvey Weinstein rape allegations, (in which you placed the blame squarly on the shoulders of the victims themselves), you seem to think that sexual harassment or assault are things that can be outmanuevered or outwitted. You think that just because you personally claim you haven’t experienced sexual assault or harassment that the oppressor has granted you some kind of special permanent amnesty from such. As if you were a fleeing refugee out of Mogadishu in the night, running blindly over arid wastelands to arrive at some abstract concept of safety. Allow me to walk with you through my personal Mogadishu, dear sister in arms. It will be visceral, painful and graphic as fuck and you do NOT have my permission to look away for even a single moment.
Ask yourself, sister, what does the denial of violence against women give ME personally? Well I will tell you: It gives you a way to sacrifice and circumvent your “woman-ness.” The essence in all of us who identify as women or femmes that makes us artificially different from men; that we are not men, therefor by default must live under the hegemonic rule of men. That nameless, shapeless thing that makes us different from them and keeps us as perrenially worth less than a man. Anything deemed as not being good enough to be called a “man” is hence automatically “other” and thusly subject to domination. You want to BELIEVE that there is a way you can extricate yourself from this fact. That maybe there’s an algorithm to rape and sexual violence against “non-men” that you can crack and hence not be subject to. There isn't. Your self hatred will not appease the gods of patriarchy. You will never be accepted. You will never be one of them.
If you wish to deny your own experiences of sexual or physical violence and the ways in which patriarchy have effected you negatively, I couldn’t give less of a shit. But like my mom used to say, your right to throw your fist ends where my nose begins. You will NOT negate MY experiences of rape nor that of any other subjugated class of woman/femme/Queer/Bi/Pan/Gay/Trans/Non-binary person- and yes bitch, rape also happens to people outside the cis het male/cis het female binary. But it is still always sanctioned and endorsed by heteronormative patriarchal rules, norms and values. So listen bitch, don’t you even fucking dare try to school me on how these systems of oppression have effected my life. I have been RAPED more times than I have had consensual sex. It’s that simple. So that is to say, I have been raped hundreds upon hundreds of times (at least) by tens and tens of different cis/het men. I haven’t had sex with anyone- especially a cis male- in over a year precisely because cis hetero men scare the living shit out of me. Literally and physically, I can’t even talk to them. And for good reason, given my life experiences.
So if we are going to follow your logic that women “ask for it” by being too “pretty,” (a subjective concept anyways) then I guess when my dad made me suck his dick in the shower at 3 years old that was because I was asking for it? By being too “sexy” of a 3 year old? Right? Or when the daycare worker would let her 16 year old teenage son rape me at 2 years old then would lock me back up in a dark, dank crawl space all day without light, food, water or a place to go to the bathroom… that was my fault for being too “hot” of a 2 year old, right? It was probably because I was wearing low-cut diapers, huh???? And when I was forced into child “pornography” (or as I like to call them, child abuse videos) by my father — who video taped me getting gang raped while I was barely old enough to talk… I was probably asking for it then too, right?………Right??????
Have u ever been gang raped in a New York City park while your boyfriend sells you to a homeless man for five dollars? Or had your boyfriend- a cartel member who beat and strangled you everyday- sodomize you so brutally that you couldn’t sit down for a week and you left home the very next day, gladly choosing to live or die on the streets than take the abuse another second? Well it was probably my own fault anyways. Maybe I breathed wrong or something.
Just because you may- and I mean MAY- have been lucky (thus far) does not mean that your experience with men is MY experience with men, nor does it give you the right to erase my story simply because it’s not your story. Don’t ever let yourself forget that. Your ego in this regard disgusts me. I have made the mistake of telling several of my old boyfriends some of these experiences of horrific abuse when I was a kid. All four said the same thing to me in response: “wow, you must have been really hot.” Yes that’s exactly it… I was a “really hot” two year old. The logic is no less stupid when applied to 18 year old Laura getting gang raped in a park, or 25 year old Laura being sodomized by her boyfriend. The vast majority of men who have raped me have known me intimately and personally- as a daughter or girlfriend. In both cases- and whether I was 2 or 32 — my body was never my own. It was assumed property of the cis hetero men in my life. It was property of the patriarchy.
Mayim Bialik- allying yourself with the oppressor will NOT keep you safe. It is a deal with the devil that you are making, and in the end, you will never win at their game. Every woman or femme has the right to keep herself safe under white heteronormative patriarchy how they see fit. But what none of us have the right to do is to decide for other women and femmes what is best and also what is relevant. If you want to be the parakeet on the shoulder of the patriarchy, then I feel truly sorry for you, but that’s your choice- for yourself. You don’t get to assume what is true for me in MY personal historical relationship to male domination, power and control. We face very different barriers and challenges in life. You have extreme levels of privilege and access that I don’t and for you to ignore key barriers to health and safety like the issues of racial oppression, historical trauma, gender identity, sexuality, income level and immigration status is just irresponsible. This is especially true for someone with the privilege of fame that allows you the platform you have to tear down rape survivors and erase our truths.
I would bet that more than just a small part of you has been unnerved and maybe even downright afraid by all the Harvey Weinstein rape allegations, as a woman who has to work in Hollywood. Maybe you realize that if even famous millionaires can be raped or sexually harassed then what chance do most femmes, Queers and Trans folks have? And indeed, that’s exactly my point.
***This article is dedicated to the beautiful, precious two year old Laura LeMoon, who is still in there and never asked for or was deserving of any of it. I love you, kiddo.