An open letter to Reese Witherspoon
Each time I read an account of an actress who has been assaulted, I die a little inside. Of all the stories, yours has pierced my heart most deeply… not because it holds more weight or significance than the others, but because your childhood performance in the film “Man In The Moon” so beautifully captures the frailty of first love.
Most of the women who’ve bravely spoken were adults (or portrayed as such) in their debut roles. Yours was the story of a 12 year-old girl harboring a secret crush on her older sister’s boyfriend, only to have her heart broken by his tragic death. Your vulnerability in this role depicts the exact innocence usurped by the director who assaulted you.
It epitomizes what has been taken from all of us.
The fact that I have cried for you in a way that I have yet to cry for myself — even though my first instance of sexual assault happened when I was just two years old — epitomizes how calloused our hearts must become in order for us to move forward.
I am outraged for your inner child. If I had children of my own, I’d be outraged should anyone ever lay a hand on them. Yet, somehow I am 43 years old and still estranged from outrage for myself.
A few years ago, a report surfaced in which you allegedly asked a traffic officer, “Do you know who I am?” It’s a comment for which you have since taken responsibility and have sincerely apologized. In retrospect, this strikes me not so much as a statement of personal entitlement, but a question of whether men in positions of power will ever truly understand what their privilege has cost us.