Dear Rape Victim,
Although as a child I did endure my share of sexual abuse by adults — the worst of which was when I got my genitals groped by a grown man who had hired me to sweep the floors of his costume shop after school (I was maybe eleven or twelve when it happened) — the truth is that I’ve never actually been raped in the way that you have been.
Recently however I have been writing and talking a great deal about having been “gang raped” last year, always taking care to clarify that I am using this term only as a metaphor for what actually happened — in fact a lengthy series of events which may actually have begun as far back as August, 2016 and which may indeed still be occurring even today, although I have summarized what might be considered the most critical events in a nine part Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director. I invite you to read that post if you feel the inclination to do so.
But the gist of it all is that I believe that it can be proven to a jury that roughly a dozen employees of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”), along with a partner at the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and at least 3 employees of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), violated at least one particular Federal Statute falling within the Investigative Jurisdiction of the FBI, thus abruptly transforming me into the victim of that violation.
Known as “Title 18 U.S. Code Section 241 — Conspiracy against rights“, this law empowers a sentencing authority to impose a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.00 in the event that any “two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same.”
Now, in my opinion, rape is a terrible metaphor in general, and really one should never, ever compare anything else to rape, unless that thing is actually an example of real rape. So, for example, I do think it’s entirely reasonable to view what that grown man did to my youthful private parts as a kind of rape — maybe “hand rape”; I think the phrase “rape of Nanjing” is reasonable, by virtue of the fact that so many women residents of the province got raped by invading Japanese soldiers; and I think the phrase “date rape” is reasonable, because, again, it is referring to a genuine rape.
But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you or anyone else were to object to my own recent decision to use gang rape as a metaphor for what I endured as a result of the aforementioned Conspiracy against rights violation. I would completely understand if you were to find the comparison far too weak to fall into the domain of any sort of reasonable use of rape as a point of comparison. If you were to think that I was “being ridiculous”, or “out of line”, or “over the top”, or “blowing things out of proportion”, or “being a drama queen”, or in any way exaggerating at all, I must admit that I couldn’t fault you for doing so.
Especially if you were to suspect me of trying to manipulate the sympathies of others, or of trying to “steal thunder”, so to speak, from the survivors of real rape; I could never blame you or anyone for thinking like that.
But as much as I could understand why you would feel pretty much the same skepticism toward this decision that I myself felt up until just recently, I wish nonetheless to beg your pardon while I try to explain here that I have managed to completely satisfy my own skepticism, at least, and in particular to reassure you that manipulating sympathy is absolutely not my intention.
To be clear: it is not sympathy that I am asking for here, but rather what I am offering to you. I’m not asking for your validation of my rape ordeal, but rather I am offering you my own validation of yours. I am truly sorry that it took getting raped (so to speak) myself to realize just how serious rape actually is — and also how awfully commonplace it is, and normal and casually disregarded by all of the people who have somehow never been raped themselves.
Basically, I wish to inform you that whether you want it or not, whether you need it or not, nevertheless I am here for you. I have your back. I’m on your team. I hereby pledge my allegiance to your safety and well-being, and to the safety and well-being of everyone you love. I see myself as your friend, your ally, and believe it or not even your student. I wish to learn from you, if I am able. And if you will allow me to do so, I wish to try and help you, however I can, and in any way you think you need.
If you don’t already, please know that you are not alone — nope, not if I can help it. Sister, brother, whoever you may be, I’m pretty sure I get it now. Sorry it took me so long, but here I am, better late than never, I hope.
I am utterly at your service.