With recent Trump statements and allegations, I felt it was necessary to change things up this week, and write about Rape Culture.
Late last week, a video of Trump stating the following was released:
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything […] Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
As Trevor Noah brings up, the issue here isn’t that Donald says “pussy”, it’s that he’s blatantly talking about sexually assaulting someone, and not only does he think it’s a joke, but that it’s just “locker-room talk.” Sadly, I’m not too surprised about his blatant ignorance and place of privilege when talking about rape, because this is what I’ve been recently hearing coming out of the mouth of my male colleagues:
“Pretty people have to worry about getting raped … because they’re more likely to be raped.”
Sorry – white male who has never experienced sexual assault before – I didn’t realize rape was about physical attractiveness. Furthermore, I also didn’t realize that pretty people should be wary of getting raped, because that’s just how the world works. News flash, rape can happen to anyone because it’s not about what you look like, it’s about power. It’s about asserting domination. Rape doesn’t happen because people can’t control themselves or because women (or men) are just too attractive and the perpetrator is consumed by their looks, it’s because the rapist needs to feel like he can overpower someone.
“What did you get raped by cheese or something at a young age?”
Here’s a fun one. Out of context, this sounds bizarre, but I really don’t think it needs to be put into context because the point is, someone was making a joke about rape. Not only was someone making a joke about rape, but they were making a joke about rape to a woman, to me. Let me break down rape jokes for you, real quick: they’re never funny. Never have been, never will be. Want to know why? Because each of my fingers on both hands can’t account for the amount of women I know who have been sexually assaulted, including myself. How nice of you – again, a white male who will never understand what it means or feels like to be raped – what place of privilege you come from, that you can speak so lightly of something that hurts more than an elephant sitting on your chest, both emotionally, mentally, and physically.
“Better be careful not to drink too much on your next date – don’t want to get raped.”
This one is a piece of work. This quote here was meant especially for me, because the implied ending was: again. This references a story I wrote about previously in “To Her Rapist” where a friend of a rape victim writes to the rapist. What I haven’t disclosed publicly about this post until now, is that I wrote this letter to the person who raped me last year. I’ve dealt with the pain of the assault, but that in no way makes it okay. At the time this was said to me, I laughed it off, because I felt uncomfortable and I didn’t know how to respond. To retaliate I punched the person in the arm, but that didn’t solve anything.
The person who said this to me was the same Brock in “To Her Rapist”, and all I have to say to him is this:
Just because I forgave you, decided to move on for my own sanity, doesn’t make what you did okay, and it certainly does not make it anything you can joke about. It doesn’t matter to me what being accused of a rape does to you, because it’s nowhere near what it’s like to have your trust broken by someone you love.
You were and still are my friend. You made a serious mistake, and it’s time to learn. I shouldn’t have to teach you, it should be common sense. Not just for you, but for all males who chose to fall into the trap of toxic masculinity. I don’t blame you or them, I blame what society has taught you is okay.
However, this isn’t an excuse. Just because society says it’s okay, doesn’t mean it is. Just because you didn’t necessarily start the problem, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix it.
Be a part of the change like I’m trying to be. I can’t force you to, but if you really do love me as your best friend, the way you say you do, then do this for me.
Learn, educate, change, and repeat.
Now I feel it’s important to speak to the women who felt the anger boiling up inside of them when they heard what Trump said, just like I did. Not only was it anger, but an angst, a deep pit in my stomach, as equally painful as hearing about the Brock Turner case was. It’s hard to be hit constantly with male ignorance, privilege, and blatant violence against women. I’m here to tell you – you’re not alone. However you’ve been dealing with your sexual assault, whatever place you’re at, I support you. I happened to forgive the person who raped me, and that helped me move on in such a way that I could start to feel normal again. Maybe you feel like yourself, maybe you don’t. If you need help, please reach out to anyone and everyone. If you want your pussy to grab back, join and follow the movements like the Human Chain that happened October 12th in front of midtown’s Trump Towers. Or vent on social media, because what else should we be using it for? EDUCATING. In this case, I’m going to let venting = educating. Some examples:
Also at Trump rally: teenage protestors. Anna Lehane displays homemade shirt, says it was “civic duty” to speak out. pic.twitter.com/U7UXzdnddE
— Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) October 10, 2016
How about instead of #repealthe19th we only let women vote for the next 131 years so we’re all even
— Sam (@Samandjunk) October 12, 2016
Trump isn’t teflon: https://t.co/wqKC2KUzgl
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) October 14, 2016
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) March 24, 2016
We stand together, we fight together, we’re strong together.
With all my love to all women and victims of sexual assault,