Trump’s Legacy: Make America Grope Again

First, let’s just say that women have been dealing with this particular form of sexual assault for as long as men have had hands. This kind of assault, like its horrendous first cousin, rape, has little to do with sexual desire. Sure the perpetrator may be sexually attracted to the woman, but groping her is about asserting authority, about taking what he wants and dominating his prey. This predator gets satisfaction, a power-trip high, from invading a victim’s body with an action of his own desire, an act of sexual aggression. While it is an assault, it is also a threat. It says, “I can take you if I want to.”

Gropers are rapists in training. While most will never make it to the final exam, satisfied enough with groping women to assert their dominance, given the right circumstances, how many would have the self control to stop themselves if no one could see or hear what was happening? Face it, if you can’t stop yourself from grabbing a woman’s genitals, self control is not your strong point.

But let’s cut to it. The real problem right now is that a large section of the public is backing the groper instead of the victim. Thank you Donald, that is just what we needed. As if the world is not dangerous enough for women, you have your supporters and surrogates out defending you by normalizing your grotesque actions.  don’t believe me? let’s take a look!

Senator Jeff Sessions told the conservative magazine Weekly Standard that he wouldn’t characterize unwanted touching and kissing as sexual assault. “I think that’s a stretch,” he said. (read complete article here)

Yes, you read that right SENATOR Sessions. Uh huh. That’s just one of our nation’s lawmakers. Of course, this goes part a parcel with earlier movements within the GOP to redefine the terms of sexual assault and rape, which seem to have less to do with consent and more with how hard a woman fights the predator.

I have watched people who are otherwise sane, create excuses to keep supporting Trump. And one of the worst excuses is by attempting to pass this off as locker room banter. By doing so, they are normalizing the discussion of sexually assaulting women, teaching our boys that it is normal to think of girls this way.

What other conclusion can you make from that? Trump is teaching our sons that talking about assaulting women is perfectly okay if no women are around to hear it. But that attitude is just a small step between voice and action. If you discuss assault in a positive way like it is a normal thing, even admirable, then the action becomes less offensive and more expected. Trump is adding years of work to overcome rape culture by reintroducing and reinforcing the concept that women exist to please men, even when they’d rather not. He’s telling our boys that if they want to be a winner and not a loser, then they will take what they want and move on.

Trump’s idea of making America great again is to recreate a society where white men rule their homes in the lazy-boy armchair of power; where wives have dinner on the table on time and never complain because they know their place; where people of color understand where they fit in society, where it is okay to openly discriminate. Trump doesn’t just grope women, he gropes anyone he thinks is beneath them, whether it is verbally, financially or physically. That is what he does. He is an assault on our way of life and he wants to normalize it. He wants to make America grope again.

Don’t be distracted. Vote.

We are One Woman, One World.

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photo credit to: hollywoodreporter.com

The Real Sex Education in Our Schools – And It Isn’t Part of Health Class

italian-textbook

When we say Sex Education, you immediately think about health class, how boys’ and girls’ bodies work differently, and together, to produce offspring. But in reality, that’s just biology. Health class may provide information on how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and give you a healthy dose of respect for what those diseases can do to you.  Depending on the school district,  the class may provide information on preventing unwanted pregnancies.

But that is not the real sex education going on in schools. Well, if that isn’t it, what are we teaching our kids?

I suggest perusing through the student handbook. Stop at the dress code. Take a quick look at the boys’ dress requirements (it won’t take long as the list is pretty short.) Now turn over to the girls. Depending on the age category, you will find  host of things different than what is required of male students. While the boys’ dress code is designed to simply be neat and positive, the goal for girls is modesty. Straps on tops must so wide, skirts must be no shorter than X inches above the knee, no tight pants or leggings, no strapless tops, must wear undergarments including bras, undergarments must not be visible through clothing. Now, I am not saying there isn’t the school policy out there that states boys must wear undergarments and they can’t be visible through clothing, but I randomly chose 20 handbooks from schools across the country and the only mention of undergarments for boys was that their pants must cover them, as in, no sagging your pants around your knees like you forgot to pull them up when you walked out of the bathroom. But the reason for that is 1. it is (reliably or not) associated with street gang attire 2. Easy to trip walking through crowded halls 3. makes navigating busy stairwells unsafe for both the student and the students around him 4. they don’t want the boys more worried about holding up their pants than carrying their books and 5. they want to bring the kids out of gang/rapper mentality and encourage them with ideas and habits to help them succeed – and the grown ups just don’t like it. I list the reasons out because those reasons, whether you agree with them or not, are quite telling.

Why does a girl’s skirt or shorts need to be almost to her knees? Why must she wear a bra? Why does she have to have straps or sleeves on her shirt? Why must those straps be at least an inch wide? Why can’t she wear leggings? None of these things are gang related. None of them affect her ability to walk down the school halls or carry her books, or navigate stairwells or deflect from a positive attitude for success. No, they teach something completely lacking from the boys’ page in the handbook. They teach modesty.

And the reason? They claim that if girls dress a certain way, then it distracts boys from their lessons.

Let us reflect upon that. What does this really teach? It teaches that girls and boys are not equal. That girls must dress and behave to accommodate boys and that instruction is carried with them through their lives. It is subtle, but it tells both boys and girls that women are responsible for the behavior of men. If a girl wears a sundress with spaghetti straps and a boy decides to stare at her rather than do his work, his lack of discipline is the girl’s fault, not his. We are teaching young boys that they are not responsible for their actions if they are distracted by a girl, if the boy thinks she looks attractive or sexy and he chooses to think about that rather than focus on his assignment. We are teaching boys to not have self control, and worse, that they can blame girls for their lack of self control.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there should be a general rule of modesty for all students. Obviously we don’t want kids showing up naked or in their underwear to class. Not because it is sexy, but because it is a distraction to everyone. But tell me, why should a girl have to wear a bra? Bras are uncomfortable and actually bad for a woman’s body. They cause fibrocystic changes in breasts, loss of the musculature designed by the body to support them (which can result in back and posture problems) and prolonged use of ill-fitting bras can cause masses to develop in the breast tissue, which is believed to increase risk of breast cancer. Girls and young women can seldom find bras that fit them well because their bodies are rapidly changing. Low income families can seldom afford good bras, especially for girls who are still developing.

So, why do we make girls wear them to school? Oh, that’s right. Because boys are attracted to breasts and therefore, girls must bind them up. It doesn’t matter that they are uncomfortable and unhealthy, that is secondary to a girl’s responsibility to not distract the boys from their education.

Did it ever occur to anyone that if we stopped teaching boys that they should be distracted by female bodies during class, stopped making girls bear a greater responsibility for the the actions and self discipline of male students, perhaps the distraction problem would fix itself?

I understand boys go through changes as well, their hormones become difficult, etcetera. If a boy finds a girl attractive, she could be wearing a burlap bag down to her ankles and he could distract himself with what might be under the bag. He will still wonder if she likes him and think whatever thoughts he would if she were wearing a t-shirt and shorts. The same thing is happening to girls as they go through puberty. They look at boys, think they are cute. The difference is that girls are taught to accept all the burden. They are taught they need to look a certain way to attract a boy but then it is their fault if the boy is distracted by them. Confused yet?

This is the sex education we are teaching from as young as kindergarten where little girls are told they can’t wear a sun dress unless the straps are at least an inch wide on their shoulders or wear leggings or wear shorts or skirts unless they are a certain length. From this age forward, we begin reinforcing in both girls and boys the responsibility of women for men’s actions. Do you think that five year old boy cares if a girl in his class has thin straps on her sundress? No. He doesn’t until the school begins telling him that he should.

This is how we perpetuate rape culture in our society. This is why we cannot escape a fundamental barrier of misogyny. It has been ingrained by the school system, generation after generation, from the age of five, onward, that girls, and then women, are responsible for the actions of men. We begin placing culpability on women and teaching them that if they distract boys, it is their fault because boys can’t help themselves – teaching them this fundamental, misogynistic message before they even lose their first baby tooth.

But that is not the only message we send. We are also creating a system of patriarchy. We are telling our girls that the education of boys is more important. The girls must dress a certain way, even if it is uncomfortable and distracting, so as not to distract a boy. If her attire is questionable, she is removed from class. Her education is secondary to the distraction she didn’t cause until someone pointed out that there should be a distraction. So, she has to miss class until someone can bring her new attire or she is sent home. I have read so many instances where the student actually believed they were within the dress code policy, and often were.

The problem is that women are used to accepting this. They have been trained since five to accept it, therefore, it seems and feels normal. They have been taught it is indecent to not wear a bra, therefore this affects their judgment. But what would happen if we just stopped? If we just stopped creating this double standard? If we taught boys what is probably a much more beneficial lesson, that they have to learn to focus despite their attraction? In turn, that teaches them self discipline and responsibility for their actions. What if there was just a single dress code? That would better recognize transgender children and create a healthier acceptance of people as just people. What if we didn’t make dress codes based on the distraction of one sex? What if we don’t teach boys they should be distracted? If they see girls who don’t wear bras all the time, I promise it won’t be any big deal. It would be normal. I doubt any boy ever failed a test because Julie wore a dress with thin shoulder straps. If he did, then that is his fault for not learning to focus, and the school’s fault for not teaching him to ignore distractions.

If we ever want to move past our patriarchal society, this must change. We must start addressing these “what ifs.” We have to stop making a boy’s education more important than a girl’s. We have to stop teaching boys that they are not responsible for their actions or lack of self control. We must stop teaching girls they carry the burden for the actions of boys and men. We begin victim blaming them before they even know they are being victimized.

This is why so many women who have been assaulted do not come forward and why they blame themselves. This is why women who are violated feel ashamed. Because that is what they are taught before they even have their first visit from the tooth fairy. Girls are taught shame.

That is sex education in our schools.

We are One Woman, One World.

 

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AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

photo credit to http://www.fluentu.com/

 

Abortion: No Trump, That Is Not How It Happens.

Donald Trump, in the third Presidential Debate held Wednesday night, October 19, 2016, Made the most gruesome and horrific description of abortion. He completely mischaracterized late term abortions in a horrendous way, obviously wanting to create this horrible idea of healthy babies being slaughtered by the thousands. But, as per usual for Mr. Trump, his words were not based in reality. In fact, they are far more hateful and hurtful than he could possibly know. I say that, because to understand how hurtful they are, he would need to first have some basis of knowledge about late term abortions and, second, harbor some level of empathy. Donald Trump fails on both these points. But let’s look at the truth of late term abortion instead of Trump’s torch and pitchfork rant.

Approximately 1.2% of abortions happen after 22 weeks gestation. 22 weeks, not 30, not 38 and certainly not 39.5. From 22 weeks to the full term of 40. That entire 18 week period represents almost half of the pregnancy. Of all the abortions performed, only 1.2% fall into that 18 week period. And almost all abortions after 30 weeks are because the fetus is literally dead.

In case you are wondering, inducing a preterm labor where the life of the infant or the mother is not endanger and the baby does not survive is technically an abortion. (Oddly enough, if the baby is already deceased, then it’s life is not technically in danger.) Actually, it is still an abortion if only the mother’s life is in question. It means, statistically, that inducing labor for a mother whose baby has died in the womb rather than waiting for a natural labor or the pregnancy to be full term is an abortion. And this scenario is by far the vast majority of abortions after 30 weeks. Also, another large segment of that 1.2% are women who have become toxic and will die and the babies are not yet viable, whose lungs or organs are not developed enough to survive. Yes, you’ve heard about them saving preemie babies, but not all can be saved. It is a very sad reality.

And then, another big chunk of that 1.2% happen as a result of the 20 week ultrasound, which discovered the fetus was not viable. A mother’s womb has an amazing ability to provide for an infant what it cannot do for itself. It can support birth defects which the child cannot survive once born. Parents typically will want at least a second opinion, an amniocentesis and even a placenta sample to confirm the diagnosis before making a decision. That can easily take a couple of weeks just to verify they have all the facts, and then they must act upon that and make a decision.

The most devastating and sad reality is that most abortions performed after 22 weeks are not for unwanted pregnancies. Of course, there are some, but you are getting into microscopic percentages. Laws which have been enacted to prohibit any type of abortion after 22 weeks unless the mother’s life is endangered, force parents to endure their tragedy much longer than necessary. They cannot heal; they cannot mourn their loss. It is cruel to force women to carry these fetuses to term knowing there will be no happiness, only more pain.

But Donald Trump wants you to believe anyone who has an abortion is just a baby killer. He attempted to paint abortion in the most cruel and horrible way, without any bearing on reality, and portray these women who have late term abortions as demented, sadistic murderers.

But that does not represent the truth. It does not tell people that almost all of the babies were wanted and loved. It fails to convey the horror and heartbreak a mother feels when she knows she cannot save her child. It completely ignores the trauma and pain in making that decision which can never be completely healed. Almost all of these babies are dearly loved, and Donald Trump is painting grieving parents as villains.

A woman’s right to her reproductive health is vital. Please, vote.

We are One Woman, One World.

Related blog posts:

Misogynistic Legislation: Choices Aren’t Always What They Seem

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com  UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

The most recent and cumulative reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) Data and Statistics were used as reference for statistical facts.  http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/

*This article was revised to include citation and link to the CDC.

Sexual Predator-In-Chief

Okay, the first question I have to ask is: If Trump insists on explaining away his conversations as “locker room talk,” when is someone going to step up and inform The Donald that he’s not in a locker room?

I could tell you about Trump’s long history of misogyny, about how he has belittled and degraded women for at least half a CENTURY, but my saying those words, or repeating his words, simply doesn’t have the same absolute truth as hearing it from the man himself.

Below, you will find a compilation of  Trump, by Trump. You will find radio clips, video footage and newspaper clips. No one had any reason to disparage Trump. He wasn’t running for office. In fact, he appeared to be running for Hugh Hefner’s replacement as playboy extraordinaire, if his many, many appearances with shock jock Howard Stern were any indication.

Trump talking to Howard Stern

In yet another interview in 1993 with Howard Stern, Trump seems to believe dating women is like avoiding land mines in Vietnam . No, Donald, that isn’t sexist at all. [Insert eye roll here, please]

“You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam — it’s called the dating game. Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.”  click here for full article,

Certainly you heard the creepy and somewhat pervy story below, I’m sure…

But that wasn’t the only time he told little girls they would be lucky to date him when they got a little older.

In a December 1992 wire brief in the Chicago Tribune, Trump is described as having spotted a youth choir singing Christmas carols at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. He asked two girls how old they were. When they said they were 14, Trump, then 46, replied, “Wow! Just think — in a couple of years, I’ll be dating you.” from the LA Times, for full article, click here

la-chicago-tribune-20161013

And he was taking long looks of close-ups of Lindsay Lohan’s chest (then just 18 years old, so, barely legal)

and then, of course, we have the now infamous Pussy Grab video. You know, the one where Donald just admits to sexual assault as if it is a condition of masculinity. How dare all these women come forward to corroborate Trump’s own story about himself?

And then there is also Trump laughingly admitting and accepting that he is a sexual predator, like that is an awesome thing – with his daughter and son at his side. Because, yes, that is completely normal.

So, this is the man who wants to be President of the United States of America. Right? A man who, even if all his talk was locker room banter, did not (under the absolute best of circumstances) have the discretion or functional, social capability to keep it in the locker room. Instead, he’s spewing it out to what appears as every media outlet he could possibly find. That is the best case, absolutely most positive and generous outlook on this.

However, given the numerous women who have come forward to validate Trump’s own claims, and given his notorious history, isn’t it just more likely that Trump is exactly what he said he is?

Reality is that, from his pompous and exaggerated claims of achievement and net worth, to projecting his faults on others or rationalizing his deviant actions by the actions of others, to his childish, fitful, raging tantrums which would make any two year old seriously proud, Trump shows he is truly nothing more than a spoiled child, used to getting his way because his Daddy is rich, so that makes him rich and more important than anyone else. He’s a guy who did not receive adequate spankings or time outs as a child, so he grew up to believe he can have and is entitled to anything he wants. He has a long history of viewing women as a commodity. He even said they are used up by thirty-five.

Make no mistake, Trump’s actions towards women has nothing to do with real attraction or a healthy but overactive libido. His actions are about entitlement and possession. He is an abusive man who would be serving in a prison had he not been born wealthy. Then again, had he not been born wealthy, he may have learned something about humility and couldn’t be The Donald at all.

But that is speculation, because we don’t know what drives abusers to believe they are entitled to hurt others or own others.  They come in many forms and from all walks of life and every social class.  It could be that they are just predators, a throw back in evolution with a deep need to dominate. I just hope we do not validate this behavior and throw justice for victims of sexual and domestic assault in the garbage by electing a Donald Trump, Predator-in-Chief.

Vote.

We are One Woman, One World.

 

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams BrickWilson.com    UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

United, Our Voices Cannot Be Silenced

Okay, so yesterday I was talking to this incredible, strong, young woman – my daughter – and we were discussing the rage versus apathy in our society today. Why would people fighting racism seem less concerned with misogyny or sexism (and visa versa)? Why would neither appear as concerned with Islamophobia? And those people were not outraged enough over homophobia and LGBT discrimination. Who even has time left to battle xenophobia? The fact is, we are facing a culmination of recognizing and battling inequality in our nation and the world. (Sorry if I have left anyone out.)

So, why is that black woman more concerned with racism or Black Lives Matter  than she is with women’s rights? Even though she is as subject to misogyny as the next woman? Maybe because she has two teenage sons and she is scared near to death they will get pulled over one night for running a top sign and never come home again. Maybe because she cares, feels and sees the acts of racism more vividly than she does discrimination because she is a woman. Perhaps because her children’s lives mean more to her than her own. It doesn’t make misogyny less important, just a less important battle in her life, because something else threatens her more. That is not a value to judge against her, but to appreciate. The same with the victim of misogyny or rape culture. The injustices she has witnessed or been subjected to make her a valuable asset to that fight.

The fact is, there are so many injustices to be outraged over: Racism, Environment, Misogyny, Rape Culture, Oligarchy, unjust wars, gun violence, terrorism, religious discrimination, global warming, animal cruelty, pollution, LGBT inequality… and it goes on and on. Every person cannot conjure enough outrage for every battle, they would be spread too thin. People can’t do it. Instead, we gravitate to the issue we most identify with, to which we feel the greatest connection. If I work to advocate for women’s rights, it does not mean I believe battling racism is less important. For those working diligently in BLM to change the relationship of police in our society and stop the brutal and senseless acts of brutality and abuse of power committed against citizens and, disproportionately, the black community, it does not mean they are less horrified by the abominable rape culture and how privileged white boys are getting away with little or no punishment for violent sex crimes against women and even children.

What we need to realize is that it is not a competition. In fact, it is the complete opposite of competition. Not everyone is going to share your drive for the issue you fight for. Not only is that okay, it is wonderful. It is great. The world is too large for any one of us. There are too many battles. The best we each can do to make our world better is to stand for something, to be a voice of change, an inspiration for thought, and a catalyst for new ideas.

You see, while there are so many different battles and the front line looks different everywhere you go, there is only one war. We fight for equality. We fight for every person’s right to life and liberty and justice, to breath clean air and drink clean water, to learn and grow and contribute to our world without fear, to love and be loved. So, though we may each be fighting different battles, we are partners in painting the much larger landscape of our future.

So, please, do not be incensed that someone is more concerned with the battle they are fighting than the one that enrages you. This is the divisive tactic of the oppressor. They want us to argue among ourselves, belittle one another, because it makes us weaker. Those who oppose the changes which will make our world freer, cleaner, and healthier do so to keep their own power, to protect their own wealth, to support their greed, and to promote their bigotry, which makes them feel superior to other people. It is like saying sexual assault is a small thing compared to the threat of ISIS or terrorism. NO. Because one bad deed does not excuse or demean the horror of another deed. One cause does not have greater weight or undermine the legitimacy of another. Do not be divided by those who plant that seed of doubt; who wish to undermine our effectiveness for a new and better world. Do not seek to quiet another soldier, in a different battle, for fear your battle cry won’t be heard.

Instead, let us encourage one another. Let us draw on each other’s passion and strength, learn effective tactics and, most of all, be proud we are serving together. Alone we are only whispers in the darkness, a leaf rustling in the wind. When we support one another and encourage each other, when we are united, our voices cannot be silenced. United, we change the world.

We are One Woman, One World.

 

Links: More ways to find me or colleagues of mine to check out!

AnnLavendar.com     LeeLooPub.com   Author Mishka Williams  BrickWilson.com  UtimateGalacticUniverse.com

Trump’s Comments Are NOT Just Misogyny; They Are Rape Culture

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE IN VIDEO

Donald Trump’s Comments on a hot mic published yesterday by The Washington Post revealed something much more than the obviously misogynistic Republican nominee we have all seen from day one of his campaign. Trump, both in life before and since the beginning of his political aspirations, has shown himself as a man who objectifies women based on their “hotness.” Even his own daughter is not immune to his degrading comments.

However, this October Surprise shows something more than mere misogyny. What Trump describes is not just about admiring beautiful women by use of vulgar language. He describes his sense of entitlement to those women, even if they are married, even if HE is married. By his own words, Trump believes that being a celebrity gives him all the permission he needs to kiss a woman without her consent and, far worse, grab her by the genitals. He literally says he can do anything he wants. That is sexual assault. This man, a man who is a breath away from the Oval Office, who is the Republican Party nominee for the President of the United States of America, is not only condoning sexual assault, but bragging about it. This is more than women being objectified, belittled or even humiliated. This is evidence of systemic rape culture in our society.

I have seen some puzzling and disturbing posts from people, sadly including women, who justify or attempt to whitewash Trump’s actions. One of the more disturbing was from a woman supporting Trump who said,

“…so he likes beautiful women. A lot of men do, so what?”

Well, here is the, “so what.” Sexual attraction is normal. It is okay to be attracted to someone, in fact, attraction is a series of chemical reactions in your body that you can’t really control. What you find attractive is most frequently influenced by your culture, but there are certain things which are unique from person to person. So, being attracted to beautiful women is perfectly normal. How a man reacts to those attractions define his character. But this is more than attraction. Sexual assault is not about sex. Sexual assault is about dominance, control and power. When Donald J. Trump talks about just doing whatever he wants, he is not talking about being so attracted to a woman that he just gets so horny he can’t help his actions. (Which would be seriously disturbing even if it were the case.) He IS talking about seeing something of value and his determination to possess it, and his feeling of entitlement to do so.

People, ANYONE, who dismisses Trump’s behavior is part of the problem. They are willingly promoting the subjugation and violence against women. Period. If you do not believe me, if you are one of these people, then ask yourself:

  • Can a man, celebrity or not, who thinks I am attractive just kiss me and grab my “pussy” if he wants to?
  • Can a man do this to my daughter?
  • Can a man do this to my wife?
  • Can a man do this to my mother?
  • Can a man do this to my granddaughter?
  • Can a man do this to my friend?
  • Can a man do this to my aunt?
  • Can a man do this to my sister?
  • Can a man do this to my cousin?
  • Should a man be allowed to do this to anyone?
  • Is a man entitled to do whatever he wants just because he is attracted to beautiful?

This idea that men get a frees pass as , “boys will be boys,” and that they are not responsible for their behavior because it is the wicked woman’s fault for just being too attractive is the very basis of rape culture acceptance in our society. If you said no to any of those questions, but you are dismissing what Trump has done, YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE. Period. YOU are part of the problem in our society. If you, for any reason, justify Trump’s vulgar descent into the self-description of a sexual predator, then you are part of the reason why women feel unsafe doing anything by themselves, like shopping, walking to their car, jogging or walking or even living alone. You are part of the reason why rapists receive a slap on the wrist for a few, “minutes of action.” You are part of the reason why a rapist’s college experience is more important than the violent crime they committed against another human being.  You are justifying the exploitation and dehumanization of victims. You fit every possible definition of deplorable.

There is a list of sexual harassment, attempted rape and statutory rape allegations leveled against the Republican nominee. Most have been largely dismissed in the public eye as political opportunism. While everyone can agree Trump is frequently rude and crass and a known philanderer,  no one really wanted to believe he was that horrible. This revelation, in his own words, about himself, lends credibility to those claims. It means they need to be revisited and re-evaluated with the knowledge of Trump’s mindset, his belief that he could just kiss and grab a woman or, “do anything,” he wants because he is a celebrity.

Oh, but the evidence of our rape culture did not end with that video and audio. As if adding insult to injury, Trump released a so-called apology.

While Trump’s ‘apology’ states that what he said was wrong, it also attempts to dismiss the action as a distraction from real issues. He tried to distance himself from the comments because he said them over a decade ago, claiming he has since been humbled by meeting so many people across the country in his campaign. Finally, he does what Trump so commonly does when faced with his own transgressions, egregious Rationalization.

Egregious rationalizations intended to deflect blame can also take the form of ad hominem attacks or DARVO. Some rationalizations take the form of a comparison. Commonly this is done to lessen the perception of an action’s negative effects, to justify an action, or to excuse culpability:

  • “At least [what occurred] is not as bad as [a worse outcome].”
  • In response to an accusation: “At least I didn’t [worse action than accused action].”
  • As a form of false choice: “Doing [undesirable action] is a lot better than [a worse action].”

He claims his actions aren’t so bad in comparison to his allegations against the Clintons. He justifies himself by claiming there is worse. So, in his so-called apology, he attempts to sidestep responsibility by minimizing his actions in comparison. But you cannot minimize being a sexual predator. You cannot minimize your desire to physically dominate women and reduce them to objects of property or ownership. Trump’s apology is equivalent to a rapist defending his actions by saying something like – “Well, yeah she was so hot I couldn’t help myself and I couldn’t stop and I’m really sorry. But, some guys would have just killed her and I didn’t. That man, Darrell Gurule, raped and shot a woman. That is really terrible.” Except, in this example, Darrell Gurule was actually convicted of his crimes with direct forensic evidence, whereas, Trump’s allegations against the Clintons are mostly based on conspiracy theories and innuendo. You will not see me ever praising the philandering of Bill Clinton, by no means. But you cannot justify you own admissions of sexual assault by citing the infidelity (or even the factual actions) of anyone else. Why?

Well, as obvious as that answer should be, it actually has deeper implications than the obvious. First, it is about being responsible for your own actions. Bill Clinton didn’t make Trump act like he did, nor did Hillary. No one else made Trump say what he did. No one else is responsible for Trump’s belief that being a star entitles him to whatever beautiful woman he sees. But the deeper problem with rationalization is that it lends acceptance to those actions. It says that they are not uncommon and, therefore, are not so grievous. When you are talking about something as horrible as sexual assault, this is the very basis of rape culture, from the most powerful person in the Republican Party, a person one election away from nominating and appointing like minded judges and cabinet members. Is someone of Donald Trump’s temperament likely to appoint anyone to any position of authority who has, does or would condemn him in any way for any action without first securing complete dominance over them? How can we possibly continue the fight against rape culture with a president who has marginalized the actions which support it? With a president who is, by his own admission, a sexual predator? We can’t.

Make no mistake, even though Trump begins his apology with stating that he never claimed to be perfect, do not forget that he has also claimed he doesn’t believe he has done anything he needs to ask God forgiveness for. So, until he was caught, he didn’t think this behavior particularly wrong. Trump does not regret his actions. One of his first comments after the release of the video was that Bill Clinton had said worse with him on the golf course. That is not remorse. He apologizes because he has to, but there is no sincerity, there is no remorse, there is no contrition. All you see is thinly veiled anger that he is being forced to humiliate himself for actions he goes on to rationalize and minimize. All women are now the victim of his harassment.

Vote.

We are One Woman, One World.

 

 

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