“Does the sun ask itself, “Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?” No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me?” No, it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, “Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies? No, it burns, it shines.”
– Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood, 1976.
“But the minute there is that spark of self-respect, or respect for another woman, or you get what really happened to your mother, the whole house of cards starts to fall apart in your mind, hence in the world, or in the world, hence in your mind.”
– Catharine A. MacKinnon, Shakespeare’s Sister in Philosophy and Reality: A Response, 2013.
A victim of child sexual abuse decides to die,
Like so many others have before her.
While she has always known that she was raped as a child,
Something inside her stopped her from confronting this truth,
Until this truth was triggered out of her dissociated mind.
She was triggered while learning about rape,
Learning about rape while learning about the law,
The law that does not care about how raped girls feel.
She feels so awful all day every day,
It is a wonder she has managed to keep breathing so far,
Her entire world falls apart, sleepless nights, living dead days.
She decides to strangle herself with her pajama pants,
Or, failing that, jump into a river nearby,
It would not be the first time a raped girl takes her own life,
In fact, she thinks, it is quite fitting,
For raped girls do not live real lives anyway, or so they say.
She knows that she is cherished but this does not matter,
For she feels so dirty and worthless, a shameful burden on people she loves,
She convinces herself that she would be a better daughter, sister, and friend, in memory than in life.
In the deep dark of the night,
A dead feminist comes to this victim of child sexual abuse,
To save her from killing herself, to give her back her life.
The dead feminist teaches the victim about the house of cards,
The house of cards that holds this world together,
This world in which children are raped and women are murdered.
From the dead feminist, the victim learns about resistance,
An organized resistance that will pull the house of cards apart.
Until this work is done,
There will always be a raped girl who decides to die.
Having met the dead feminist, the victim starts to hope,
To hope that she might live a real life after all,
A real life in which she will love, rejoice, and fight.
This has been the feminist’s gift to the world, in life and in death.
In life, she believed that “writing could move the earth and raise the dead, at least the living dead.”*
Her writing did, does, and will forevermore, even in death.
A victim of child sexual abuse decides to live.
* Catharine A. MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin: Remembered, 2005 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uko_sEDCWu8).
By: Nayoung Kim, written for Catharine A. MacKinnon’s Sex Equality course.
Original post (http://21ckoreanfeminist.blogspot.kr, May 9, 2016).