Early in Sarah Polley’s award-winning film Women Talking, we see one of the Mennonite women whose story the film depicts waking up in the morning. Wearing an off-white nightgown, the young woman sits up in bed and stares down at her lap. “It happened again,” she says. At first, it’s not clear what she’s referring to. There appears to be some blood on her legs and possibly on the sheets, but we get just the briefest glimpse, and the image of her legs jutting out from the off-white nightgown against the off-white sheets leaves us with only the murkiest impression. Did she have a bad dream? Did she miscarry? Did she get her period?

The “it” and the “again” to which the woman refers soon become clear. The women have been repeatedly drugged and raped by the men in their religious colony. Despite the hard evidence they themselves embody, however—the unwanted pregnancies, the sexually transmitted infections, the beatings, the deaths—the doubt the viewer experiences in this scene shifts to the women who gather to talk about what they should do. “They made us disbelieve ourselves,” a character declares during their conversation. “What if . . . [the men] are not guilty?” another asks.

The doubt that implicates the viewer of Women Talking as well as the characters reveals something essential about the doubt that afflicts the #MeToo movement as a whole. In their responses to the three articles under examination in this “Of Note” section—Sarah Louise Macmillen’s “From Herland to #MeToo: Utopia or Dystopia?” (Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal 103, no. 2 [2020]), Ruth McHugh-Dillon’s “‘Let Me Confess’: Confession, Complicity, and #MeToo in Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her and ‘The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma’” (Melus 46, no. 1 [2021]), and Diana Rosenberger’s “Virtual Rewarded: What #MeToo Can Learn from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela” (South Central Review 36, no. 2 [2019])—the contributors, Adela Ramos and Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, remind us how doubt has hobbled #MeToo in the present moment. In addition to the ongoing doubt imposed on abused women by themselves and by the people and institutions in denial, the doubt surrounding #MeToo has been compounded by the cultural and legal backlash against the movement (we need only think of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022), the blurred lines between victim and victimizer, and the accusations of essentializing men, among other things. Unsurprisingly, doubts arise for the “Of Note” contributors too. Thinking about how the articles “use literary representations of sexual predators . . . to access the feelings of contemporary victims,” Cullingford finds herself “questioning [her] own critical practices.” Meditating on what Mary Wollstonecraft called the “fanciful kind of half being” to which women had in her time been reduced, Ramos invites us to “consider if women’s condition is an indeterminate space between the lived and the literary.”

If, as these sources suggest, doubt inheres in the telling of stories that #MeToo demands, however, the articles and the “Of Note” pieces presented here also remind us of a vital truth: the only bulwark we have against doubt is to keep on telling the stories of how “it happened again” and again and again until the evidence of the “it” and how it “happened” becomes undeniable. This, the articles, notes, and film remind us, is the power of women talking.