Memoir/personal essay: “All times are the same time: A response to Shannon Burns on childhood sexual assault”, Meanjin, Spring 2018

In an event reminiscent of the time I once confidently asserted I was not attracted to Tom Hiddleston, in March 2017 I wrote a blog post about how I had decided never to write explicitly about my experience of childhood sexual assault.

That was clearly an extinction burst.

My objections were to do with being uncomfortable with misery memoir i.e. the aesthetisisation or commodification of women’s suffering – I needed to have a point other than ‘look at my pain’. I found it here by responding to another piece by Shannon Burns. While it’s Burns’ right to define his own experience, I found a lot of his conclusions deeply misguided.

I’m grateful to Meanjin for their graciousness in giving me an equal platform to comment critically on something they’d published. My piece (content warnings as per the subtitle):