You might remember Amber Tamblyn as the wonderfully angsty Tibby in The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants movies, but more recently, she’s been in the spotlight for a much more serious matter. Following Donald Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” remark, the actress shared the story of an abusive ex-boyfriend doing exactly that to her at a club.
Before the story went viral, Tamblyn called her mother, so she wouldn’t hear about her daughter’s sexual assault on the news first. And in a powerful essay for Glamour, Tamblyn talks about that conversation. Not only was her mother “unshockingly unshocked” (an unfortunate testament to the world we live in), she had a similar story of her own. To illustrate how terribly common these stories have become, Tamblyn wrote her mother’s story Mad Libs style:
Go ahead and fill in the blank of my mother’s story. It’s easy, isn’t it? I was at a ________, and a guy _________. I was _______ years old and the father of one of my friends __________. I was at work and my boss ___________. I was walking down the street and __________. I exist, therefore ___________ is bound to happen.
Tamblyn is talking about her mother, but most women can fill in one (or many) of those blanks based on something they’ve experienced. And that’s exactly the problem.