Personal Anecdote

The Rape of ‘Wonder Woman’

You think of her as strong. resilient. untouchable.

But – she was touched. She was hurt. She was violated.

And for the first time – the very first time – you think, just maybe, “Wonder Woman” can lose. Wonder Woman is fallible; Wonder Woman is broken.


And it’s a lie.


It’s a sham.

Bad marketing.

But for that one agonizing moment, you did believe it.

As a writer, we do not have the luxury to believe bad marketing. As [great] writers, we do not have the luxury to write bad marketing. We market only in the truth. The first step to compelling storytelling is to be real. And what’s real isn’t always sugar plum fae-ries. Sometimes it’s raw and comes from a dark and unpleasant place. But that’s what your readers expect and need from you. They need your darkness, just as they need your light. So don’t fall for the hype.

Those who have been raped and sexually assaulted are not victims. They are survivors. They may have lost something in that battle, but the war is far from over. I’ve begun to write a character who experiences this trauma herself because it’s the only way I know to positively filter out my feelings [other than this blog]. Can I be honest with you? I was sideswiped this week, and it was not a great feeling.

You know that hopeless, rug-pulled-from-under-you feeling I’m talking about.

There have been so many articles, blogs and news stories about rape culture and the nature of sexual assault and misconduct in America. There is NO rock you could have been hiding under to miss the overwhelming flood of reports over the past few years about the horrific acts of powerful media moguls, famous athletes, college sports hopefuls, teachers, high-ranking military personnel, and even trusted, childhood heroes. For most of us the most disheartening part is the knowledge that these public, frequent events are not even the tip of the iceberg. We know that there are more out there, have always been and our fear is that they always will be. However, the truth is that news travels in fast, and old news travels out faster. In our society, anything constantly in our face annoys and alienates us, especially when it’s sad or psychologically probing. The only thing most of us can fill our brains with nonstop are cat videos and reruns of “Finding Dory.”

                                           [via tumbler – itslolit-a]

“Out of sight, out of mind” is more than just an old Merriam-Webster quote. It’s the continual salt bath we throw on society’s wounds. It’s the sore we won’t allow to heal. Understanding this helps us understand why we allow this cycle of subjugation to continue. Oh, and just so you know the scope of this epidemic in our country: It’s not just the subjugation of women. Sexual assault checks all boxes: men, women, trans, children, adults, elderly, poor, rich, free, incarcerated, military, civilian. Anyone who is a person can be a victim. According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization) someone in America is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds! That’s insane. It gives that opening song from “RENT” a wayyy more sinister vibe.

                                                                                                  [via tumbler – springawakenings]

That’s 321,796 people a year.

That’s inexcusable. Yet a fact that most of us go all day without thinking about. To be honest, this post has taken awhile to be written because I’ve gone the past few days thinking of little else.

To put this in perspective: While over 300,000 people is a terrible amount, it’s still less than 1% of the US population. It’s actually less than 0.5%. So I [and many of you] have been blessed that it’s never truly affected my life in any direct manner. It has saddened me. It has made me write a few Facebook posts. But it has never rocked my core. Until it happened to my Wonder Woman.

Until a beautiful, majestic, divine goddess that I love and have looked up to forever admitted that she is a survivor of rape. And I do mean a survivor.

Unlike many of her fellow servicemen and servicewomen who pop pills and pray for dreamless nights where they don’t wake up with gunshots, blood, or bombs, she pops them and prays to not dream of someone who should have protected her back in combat. A person who was supposed to be her support behind enemy lines, not a combatant on American soil sharing a United States Marine uniform.

My Wonder Woman was taken down from the inside.

And the helplessness I feel is smothering. The anger and disgust at his actions makes bile rise up in my throat. I want to cry, but I can’t. I want to scream, but I won’t. All I can do is write about it. Express to the world my outrage that monsters I always knew about live among men.

I’m expressing my horror that I knew – I knew – and I only had “philosophical debates” about this until my inner sanctum – my Hall of Justice – was infiltrated and hollowed out.

My Wonder Woman was raped. 5 years ago. By a supposed brother-in-arms. She got help, but she never got justice.

So, I’ll write her a story about justice. It may mean nothing to anyone today. It may not change a thing today.

But the power of the written word lies in tomorrow.

I ask all my fellow [and new] writers to uplift someone you may or may not know. Write a poem, a letter, a note, a story, anything. Let our survivors know that we stand with them. We mourn in anger with them, but we also fight with them. If you are a survivor, then tell us your story. Write for the brother or sister or friend who just experienced this 98 seconds ago, what you wish someone had told you.

Post it here with our community in the comments.

It doesn’t have to be sugar and pretty. Just let it be real. Let it ring with the truth.

And be free.


-(1/22/18) blog update:
I’ve had many users ask for clarification regarding the identity and nature of “Wonder Woman,” as described in my post. I apologize for the confusion. I will admit that I was still quite emotional when I wrote this…subsequently, there will be a post about emotional writing later. To make things clear: This was written after learning that someone I hold in high regard was sexually assaulted and raped by a fellow member of the US Armed Forces (several years ago in fact). It was very disheartening to hear and my initial thoughts were to pity her as a victim.
After speaking with her though, I realized that I wasn’t speaking to a victim…I was learning from a survivor. 
She’s a testimony to inner strength and personal resolve. My “Wonder Woman” was even more amazing than I’d always believed her to be. I was so inspired that I’ve begun to write a new story based loosely on this situation that I hope will teach other the valuable lessons I’m learning from this awesome person as well as raise awareness of the continuing battle in our society against sexual predators of all kinds. 

2 thoughts on “The Rape of ‘Wonder Woman’

  1. foreverfine says:

    Thank you for sharing this post, I hope that anyone who has experienced what you have been talking about, continues to believe and never gives up. People who have experienced this are survivors. This post moved me emotionally but helped me realise that we need to show unity and stand together to help these problems stop.


    • Foreverfine,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our family here! I am so pleased that this post meant as much to you as it did to me. It’s never easy to be on the sidelines when something like this happens to a close friend or family member, and it’s even harder when happens to you personally. But you’re right, those who experience assault, rape, or any kind of sexual misconduct are one of the many groups of unspoken survivors. They deserve our respect and empathy, not our pity. They deserve our love, not our lies and discomfort. Thank you again for your insights. I hope you continue to be in conversation with everyone as the blog grows and we tackle more important issues in writing and society.



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