First, I'm really sorry this happened to you. I'm grateful to you for writing it, though. I suppose it will live in my head, but that's okay. It certainly touched my heart while I was reading it, which is far more important.

Like most of your stories, this one really gets down to what matters. That's what gives your writing its startling eloquence. Your great intelligence combined with unflinching honesty.

I was recently reminded of what Hemingway famously said once: "Write hard and clear about what hurts." Well, you've certainly done that here, Ija.

Lots and lots of people need to read this. I spent 12 years interviewing victims of workplace sexual harassment. And I've felt the pain in their voices as they spoke to me. Sadly, I am sure there are many other women who have gone through what you've described here. This needs to stop. It really needs to stop.

Happy birthday, Ija. I certainly hope you're collecting these powerful essays.

Fiction & cultural commentary with a personal twist — by a writer from the Deep South with roots in print & broadcast media.