It goes without saying that this isn’t going to be a funny post. Just like Michael Scott forever ruined the phrase “that’s what she said”, Donald Trump tainted the phrase “locker room talk”. Although, the phrase already had a stench, didn’t it?
It sucks about the “that’s what she said” phrase because sometimes, that really is what she said.
But I digress.
I know part of the reason my anxiety and depression have been fucking with me has to do with this election. I’m bombarded with stories and videos where I get to watch a man behave like the father I remember from childhood. A thin-skinned, grandiose, lying, self-serving bully. My dad had better hair.
Mostly, I can process this. I think that people who didn’t grow up with or spend a significant time with a narcissist thoroughly understands how bad this is. Trump can’t be in charge. For all that is fucking holy, he can’t be in charge. He literally cares for no one but himself. He is reactionary and has no regard for consequences. No way I could stomach seeing him as commander in chief for four years. I can barely stand this election cycle.
Okay, maybe I’m not processing it all that great. haha.
I know the Access Hollywood video did a lot of damage to his campaign. I am appalled that it didn’t kill it. I am appalled that he still has followers.
Disclaimer: In case you’re new or you’ve forgotten, I’m not dealing with shitty political comments on this blog. I am not concerned if you think that is fair or not. This is my safe place and I will tidy it up as I see fit. So, if you feel the need to comment in a way that I find even the tiniest bit upsetting, I’m turning your comment into bad poetry.
I am appalled that he admitted he can sexually assault women because he’s a star.
He said that he can press his nasty lips on unsuspecting women because he feels like it. Well, that and he thinks it’s an awesome idea to grab them by the pussy.
By the way, I don’t give a flying fuck that he said the word pussy. I care that he can casually tell another human that he sexually assaults women. I am appalled that so many people defend his behavior. We’re supposed to just accept this as how things are.
Well, fuck that.
Here is a sampling of my personal experiences. I will tell you the ones that I have dismissed as slightly trivial. The price one pays for being a female human.
I’ve already told you some of these stories, some of them are new:
When I was 8 years old, a much older boy lured me into a shed in an alley. He promised to show me baby birds. When we got in the shed, he ordered me to take my dress off. That is the first memory I have of absolute terror. The kind that makes you feel like you are completely liquid and the taste of metal floods your mouth. That horrifying realization that you are in real trouble.
A boy in my class saw us go into the shed and called my name. I ran. My classmate, Jimmy, told me that the boy was a bad kid and I should stay away from him. I have Jimmy to thank that I was spared certain trauma.
I was felt up by a cop moments after he had a gun pointed at my head. I was 13 years old.
I had a man show me his penis at a party after the other adults shared copious amounts of weed with me. I was 13 years old.
I used to babysit for two sisters who lived together with their children. Tina and Beth. Beth’s boyfriend looked like a deranged Grizzly Adams. If you don’t remember who Grizzly Adams is, then you are a baby.
Anyway, I don’t remember his name, but he always wore denim overalls and all three of them found it hilarious when he would grab me and try to force his tongue down my throat. I was terrified of him. I was 12 years old.
When I was 17 years old and a waitress in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, a regular patron told me that he wanted to take me behind the building, spread my legs, and eat me.
I was so ashamed and disgusted to be spoken to that way that I went in the back and sobbed. The owner of the restaurant asked me what was wrong and I didn’t want to repeat the words to him, but I did. He kicked the guy out.
The same owner’s dad moved in with him and started working at the restaurant. His dad was in his seventies and soon, that disgusting old man said worse things to me than the patron who got kicked out. I told my boss. He berated me for criticizing his father and said that his father only had wonderful things to say about me. He told me I should be ashamed of myself. And I was.
When I was 19 years old, I worked at a children’s clothing store in a strip mall. As I walked past the store fronts, a man pulled up along side of me and asked directions. The directions were simple, but he asked multiple times. I finally noticed the movement in the car. He was masturbating. The smell of ammonia poured from his car. I nearly fell over backward trying to run away.
Years later, I read an article that stated that some of the time when a person is about to, or does commit a violent crime, they emit a strong scent of ammonia. I haven’t always been lucky, but like being rescued by Jimmy when I was 8 years old, I think I was very lucky in that situation.
Throw in a dozen groping incidents in crowded places and a fuck ton of cat calling and you get a picture for what it is like for most women. Some assaults are more violent and devastating than others, but most of us have been assaulted. If not physically, then through intimidation and words.
We women have stories. We have nothing to be ashamed of and pretending they didn’t happen, or silencing ourselves because it’s not “polite” to speak our stories is bullshit.
Donald junior recently said that women who can’t handle being harassed in the workplace don’t belong in the workplace. And they should be kindergarten teachers instead. Really, motherfucker? We’re supposed to just take it? Be a good sport?
Women who have been raped or assaulted are ridiculed for not speaking out, but when they do, they are punished. Lou Dobbs posted on Twitter the address and phone number of a woman who came forward with a story about being groped by Trump. He put her goddamn life in danger.
What else happens? Women get violently raped and watch their rapist get slapped on the wrist. Oh, and that is only after her character is dragged through the mud in the court room.
So, what messages do we get? Speak up! Be strong! If you don’t speak up it’s your own fault. But don’t ruin our fun. Try to be a good sport about it. Learn to take a joke! Also, if you could stop being sexual beings and causing men to rape and assault you, that would be great. Hahaha. Just kidding. You don’t really matter.
We can fight back. We can keep moving forward. We have to. We must keep calling this bullshit out until women can feel safe just existing.
One in five women are the victim of rape or attempted rape. Nearly every woman has experienced sexual assault of some sort in their lifetime. I don’t know of any woman who hasn’t been harassed by demeaning words or leering.
Now this. We have a presidential candidate who brags about sexually assaulting women.
We women have gone through so much and we have so far to go. We can’t allow this moronic buffoon and his followers set us back.
Forward motion, baby.
Also, not one of my stories is trivial. I deserved none of it. Fuck paying a price for being a woman.
Writing this made me feel sad for myself because even those these are vivid memories, I’ve never been more than mildly to moderately appalled by them. I assume it’s because I’ve had the lesson that I’m not that important thrust upon me my entire life.
It’s okay that I feel sad about this. I’m terrible at grieving or sadness. Feeling this sadness is good for me. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but it’s not entirely uncomfortable, either.
I am important. So are you.
Also, if you see or hear someone behaving inappropriately to a girl or a woman, don’t just accept it as “the way things are”. Fucking say something. If you see or hear someone brag about treating a woman in an aggressive or disrespectful way, call them out on that shit. They’ll probably tell you that you can’t take a joke or that you’re too sensitive. Who cares? Call them out anyway. If enough of us do, then sooner or later, they will have no choice but to listen. Or at least shut the fuck up.