Yesterday I had the honour of interviewing the remarkable author and activist Winnie M Li as part of the Murder One crime writing festival 2023, which took place away from the strangely balmy October weather (and the crowds of a bustling Dun Laoighaire), inside the cool auditorium of the DLR LexIcon. A fantastic library and cultural space (dare I venture to say - the best...?)
We had a really insightful chat in front of a great audience - delving into the wider issues around sexual assault and rape in our society, the long term impact of #MeToo, parallel lives and split identities, and power and privilege in the game between victim and attacker.
This morning, then, I came across a piece I had written for writing.ie in 2018, about my first novel, The Glass Door, and the similarities in theme were quite startling - about power and its abuses, and the perceived unreliability of the female mind.
Women’s stories are insular, subjective; so we are told. Their perception is caged, turned in like an ingrown hair, lacking the power or the reach to affect anything other than themselves. In cases like these where at one end of the scale is a powerful man with everything to lose and the other is a woman who has already lost almost everything, we repeatedly see concern tilt the scales in favour of possible consequences for the abuser....A man’s experience has influence, breadth; it is written into law, built into the foundations of cities. A woman’s is limited to the boundary of her skin.
RM Clarke is a writer and voice-over artist. She has written for various literary mags and anthologies and won awards. She has put her voice to most things she can think of.