The American Scholar


No Ambiguity

Setting aside much of Sandra M. Gilbert’s problematic cover article in the summer issue, “In the Labyrinth of #MeToo”), I would like to focus on three paragraphs. In the middle of her piece, soon after describing the rape of an unconscious woman behind a Dumpster that landed Brock Turner so disgustingly light a sentence that the sentencing judge was recently recalled by voters, Gilbert asks, are “these ambiguous traumas what feminism has actually been about?”

These “ambiguous traumas” led Turner’s victim to write a moving letter that Gilbert ought to read. Here’s an excerpt: “I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.” Moving on to answering her own specious question, Gilbert tells us that #MeToo has derailed feminism from its

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