My Real Life Promising Young Woman

Rape killed the best woman I’ve ever known, so no. I’m still not over it.

Rivka Wolf
Fourth Wave


Image from the Alliance of Young Women Journalists: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN — Review by Susan Wloszczyna — ALLIANCE OF WOMEN FILM JOURNALISTS (

My friend killed herself, and for the longest time I thought it was my fault.

That night, she was drinking. D was always drinking, by then. She drank during the day. She drank all night long. She drank and sometimes she popped pills, but why would I worry about that? She took pain medication for her back because of scoliosis when she was growing up. She had Sesame Street characters tattooed on her calves. I was in awe of her.

Everyone was in awe of D. In the film, everyone was in awe of Nina, the dead girl, the best friend who died off-screen. At least, that’s what her best friend thought. But everyone really was in awe of D. She was that kind of person.

D was the first fat woman I ever saw wear a bikini in public. We were at a beach, her and me and some other people from our house. I only had eyes for her. I always only had eyes for her.

I wasn’t in love with her, exactly. I wanted to be her. She’d read every book I could name that had anything to do with political activism or socialist organizing and she was a feminist and she wanted to burn the institutions of America to the ground and build something new and bold and fiery and beautiful and very, very alive…