“Sexual violence is still, to a certain degree, a hidden issue for the average woman,” I told Meggie Royer, editor of the U.S. publication Persephone’s Daughters, during a recent interview. “The #MeToo Movement has been predominantly embodied by very privileged white women. I think it’s wrong that it was a Black woman who came out with the term, and yet nobody paid any attention until high-profile white women started discussing it. This [incest] is still considered a shameful secret.”
In discussing my incest memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, we covered interview topics from the #MeToo movement and toxic masculinity to finding forgiveness. It was deeply satisfying to find a kindred spirit in Meggie, whose questions were both insightful and thoughtful. She is a poet and social worker who works with survivors of intimate partner violence.
When I see the rage-filled divisions and misogyny in today’s world, it makes me want to applaud all the more the courage of author Sylvia Fraser, whose incest memoir My Father’s House was published in 1987. She was truly breaking ground with her story, beyond Anais Nin‘s revelations about her own incest. As a stranger who received an email from me, Sylvia was kind enough to read my whole manuscript and write a testimonial. She followed up with another supportive email, sharing some of her own writing and thoughts on forgiveness. I was shocked to learn that she died within a year of contacting me. I will always be grateful for her kind, loving words — and for her courage in sharing her incest story.
Persephone’s Daughters is a “survivor-founded and majority survivor-run literary and arts journal for abuse survivors of all gender identities.” You can read the full interview here.