Dear Presidential Candidate Mr. Donald Trump:
Today I watched the viral video of your lewd comments towards women and I have a few words in response.
First let me just start by saying that I’ve never been supportive of your crude, sexually offensive and politically incorrect behavior through this campaign (or before it for that matter). But your words directed at women in this video set me off in ways I don’t know how to describe in words. But I’m going to try.
It’s so fortunate for you that you’ve reached a status in your life where you feel you can do virtually anything to women. Really. We are all impressed. And she was even married? Props to you for showing this country that you are able to disregard the sacred institution of marriage that has been around since humans populated the earth. It’s a bold move, I’m sure women loved that. I’m sure they also loved knowing that you feel entitled to “grab them by the pussy” whenever you want because “you’re a star.”
But I have a couple concerns.
Did you know that sexual assault is the most underreported crime in this country?
Did you know that 1 in 4 women will experience sexual assault at least once in their college career? And did you know that this number jumps only to 1 in 6 for women over their lifetime?
To think that these numbers are so high yet the crime remains substantially unreported seems to me that we’ve normalized this issue or re-defined what the term “sexual assault” really means. So I looked it up for you, Mr. Presidential Candidate:
Sexual Assault as defined by the US Department of Justice: Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.
Hmm. I’m noticing that your comments may not directly fall under this definition (it’s much closer to sexual harassment, rather). However, the idea that you can do merely “anything you want, anything at all” to a women suggests that you condone the harassment and language that eventually leads to sexual assault. Perhaps one of the reasons this crime is pushed under the rug is because of the desensitization that we have for behavior you seem to be contributing to. But I can assure you in the minds of those being assaulted or harassed, we are not forgetting and may not forgive the actions or words we get subjected to. And it’s for that reason that your comments may not simply be forgiven by one simple apology speech.
Saying to the press that “it was only locker room talk” that wasn’t disclosed as being filmed doesn’t help your case either because it proves to us this is how you think when you’re uncensored. Behind the curtain of your public act which is quite poor to begin with, you’re even uglier. What’s more is I’m pretty sure if Hillary stood on stage and joked about “grabbing a man by his balls” whenever she wants you’d not take kindly to that comment. Why?
- It disregards that you may feel differently.
- It disregards that you ever had any control over your own body.
- It subjects you to deep-rooted ugly beliefs about submissive behavior and whom it is directed towards.
- It somehow assumes that you’ll drop your pants at the sight of power or fame which I’m sure we can all agree DOES happen, but cannot be generalized to the entire demographic.
- It facilitates the language and behavior that leads to sexual assault.
- It assumes that because you have “fame” you can take what you want, no questions asked (even if the party in question is married)
- It makes you look powerless and it may even go as far as to suggest that this is what is expected of you in the presence of a dominate figure.
I can make a list that goes on for the length of a novel but I won’t because you’re clearly a busy man. Maybe by reading this simple list of surface-level reasons why your comments are offensive you can begin to understand why the women of this country are in outrage.
Maybe it’s because we’ve decided that our bodies are not going to be treated as property that you can take or “move onto” at your will. Maybe it’s because we’ve agreed that we are the sole dictators of our bodies and what we do with them, and that doesn’t include (in most cases) letting you (or anyone for that matter) grab us by the pussy. Or maybe it’s because we’ve learned over our lifetimes to value ourselves and our bodies are part of that. Woah, wait, did I just say that women’s bodies are part of what makes them human? Shocking that our brains, emotions and beliefs are not separate entities from our bodies. Of course we are going to react when you mistreat or misspeak about our bodies.
As someone personally touched by the stories of sexual assault that women readily released in response to hearing your comments, I can safely say it takes more than an apology to make this right. Fame should never give you the ability to make lewd comments and be forgiven with the words “I’m sorry.” No one should have that kind of power. We are all human and deserve to be treated as such.
If you want to lead this country, you’re going to need to learn how to look at those you’re leading as equals and as human beings; because no amount of money you have can buy us all into your personality.
Good luck in your campaign Mr. Trump.