Locker Room Talk

L

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 theyroad-fog-foggy-mist 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.

Please vote.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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89 comments

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  • Be at peace. All will turn out as it should. I’m more concerned about the Russians sending 10 warships towards the English channel and Hillary giving our nuclear response times on National TV than I am about the election.

      • I knooow what you’re talking about. I’m going to be getting a new shrink. I go through them. She’s leaving due to the inequity of treatment between men and women up there. Sucks. She should sue. I asked her if it was a higher paying job and she said yes. I told her that I want another pretty psych. and she said that might be tough. I said just not a man. Why, she asked? I said that I don’t get along with men because they’re assholes. She laughed and said she’d see what she could do.
        Always something isn’t it? Aaarrrggghhh. I’m mellow.

        • Good luck with your search, my friend. I am feeling a little mellow this morning, but if the rest of the week is any indication, it will be short lived.

          I had a male shrink once, years ago, who I loved. That was the only time therapy helped me. It didn’t help a lot, but he was able to shift my thinking. I should write a post about that, because it’s a pretty good story.

          • I had a male therapist once. I stopped seeing him after he told me my skin looked lushish. What the fuck, dude. Not relevent to your post but…had a female therapist who told me I had abandonment issues and had to stop seeing me because she was moving 3 thousand miles away. I shit you not.

          • What the fuck. Lushish? What a fucking creep. And I might have laughed a little at the moving 3 thousand miles away. Not the abandonment issues because that sucks, but it’s still kind of a funny story. Peaceful thoughts to you from me. 🙂

  • I have a friend who left Ohio in May and rode his bicycle to ALASKA by himself. He’s now in California and still riding. He camped wherever he happened to be when he needed to rest along the way. It didn’t take me long to realize that the main reason that I cannot even fathom doing something like this is because of the threat of being attacked/raped because I’m a woman. I think that this fear lives in every woman’s head from young girlhood. Sad but true.

    • It IS true. We DO have to be diligent. We aren’t going to be able to get rid of it, but I think it’s possible that we could all get on the same side and all humans will STOP belittling or blaming the victim.

    • Yes, what Julia said is so very true. Reading Cheryl Strayed’s account of walking the Pacific Trail made me wish to do it, but yeah, no way could I feel safe. How many ways are our lives diminished because of that real fear? Michelle is spot on: if you see something, say something. Write the editor about inappropriate content. Tell the business owner if shit is said. Don’t let the leering assholes get away with it. And always carry your pride with you, loaded and ready for defense.

  • It’s unbelievable to me how many men like me are, or at least used to be, oblivious to experiences like yours. And I use the word “unbelievable” because I have no excuse for my ignorance. Even though it doesn’t seem like I’ve heard women talk about these experiences until recently the bitter truth is I it wasn’t until recently that I started really listening. Some men still aren’t listening and some have only started to listen because they’ve now heard a man brag about sexual assault and that’s what it took to make them understand what women have been saying for too long.
    I hope this doesn’t upset you. It should be easy to turn into bad poetry.
    Here’s a joke I heard from a woman bartender: an old guy who was a regular at her bar said one night, “My wife ain’t interested in sex with me no more. Why don’t you come to my house and join us to spice things up?”
    She replied, “Your wife isn’t interested in sex with you because I’ve already been to your house.”

    • Hahah..no, it doesn’t upset me at all. It gives me hope. I think maybe you weren’t hearing it because we weren’t talking about it. I learned that speaking out resulted in ridicule and animosity and being shamed…so you end up just keeping that shit to yourself.

  • Despite being Canadian and despite the fact that we both agreed to not watch this last debate. We both did.

    We were pretty quiet because we knew we were going to yell something pretty nasty. We watched, “that man” with complete contempt and to be honest a bit of fear.

    I hear your story Michelle. And you’re absolutely correct. There is almost no woman or girl that hasn’t experienced harassment.

    Being a bit older and wiser now I have a few more coping skills. We shouldn’t have to cope. Sometimes that look. “I will rip you a new one if you even try that.” Works. Unfortunately a lot of women are not in a position to fight back. That is the problem.

    And you’re right. Not a fun or pleasant comment on the, “State of The Nation”.

    A pretty damn accurate one though.

  • PS. It is sort of like not being able to not watch an accident or a train wreck. You know you should look away. And you don’t.

      • I’m actually surprised it isn’t a full blown, “RED”.

        Shame at being assaulted? Yes, that is the way that, “society” attempts to socialize us. Men or women. I will not leave out the men and boys that are damaged in this way.

        I have a baseball hat that I got at a Pride event. “Unlearn”. My favourite one. Well, maybe other than my Steelers hat.

  • I agree. The use of a particular word was not the problem. The problem was the attitude and the sentiment. The problem was that he said he does something and then a bunch of women came forward to confirm it. Where I’m from, that’s called a confession.

    I don’t think most men can understand the impact these things have. You’re going about your routine and something happens and you think, “Should I say anything? Would it make a difference? Am I blowing this out of proportion?”

    This is a really unexpectedly powerful post and I thank you for writing it. Wow.

    • Thank you so much. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn’t. I mean, I did (and still do) feel sad about it. not depressed, but sad. I think sad is a completely appropriate emotion. Well..and anger. There is anger as well. I am just choosing to no longer swallow the anger.

  • Thank you. This is powerful. We women do not share these stories enough because we are always told that we are somehow responsible. I think we must raise our daughters to cry foul and raise our sons to accept females as equal human beings.

  • Thanks for this post, Michelle. The past few weeks have brought up similar awful memories for me, too–starting with a near-rape when I was six years old. Like you, I’m pissed, and I’m calling shit out when it happens–especially the dismissive “Oh, lighten up” that too many men seem to default to. If that orange-faced asshole has done nothing else, he’s raised an awareness and stirred up a sense of empowerment among a whole lot of women. It’s about time we spoke up and pushed back.

  • I’m so sorry, Michelle. I had bile coming up my throat reading your stories. Mostly, because I have a bunch to share myself. It was not our fault. We are fighting. We are making a difference.

  • I am important. So are you. Repeat. Thank you for this.
    Upset and crying this morning, and anxious and shaky. The verbal assaults come more frequently lately, as orange leadership hell creates an environment for that. Worried for my (adult) daughters, as well, who are also victims of this.
    Trying to find a way to make this a positive or humorous comment but not finding it today.
    I don’t believe the 1 in 5 stat, BTW. Pretty sure it’s closer to 1 in 3, and among the women I’ve talked to about it, closer to 1 in 2.
    Thanks you for saying all this, and being a voice.
    I am important. So are you. Hugs and tears,
    L

  • There are 2 different worlds, the world men experience and the world women experience. It starts the minute we leave our house. I’ve had all kinds of disgusting treatment from pervs and it really messes with me. Strangers, at work, pervs on the train, everywhere. It makes me feel powerless and full of rage at the same time. Rape culture is alive and well.

    • I was treated so disrespectfully at my last job by management. I was there for 7 years and it took a toll on my already shaky mental health. When I left, I went off on the VP of my department and listed out the ways he was horrible to women. I don’t think I changed his mind in anyway, but it felt so goddamn good to get it out.

  • Boys watch and copy what they see. I was playing in the park with my son and two 10 or 11 yr. old boys were talking to each other. It started out as a discussion as to whether or not they were getting “wet dreams.” One boy was trying to show off as the sexually “mature” one. Meanwhile, two young women were practicing yoga about 100 ft. away. First “Mr. Mature” started commenting (“they’re KILLING me” etc.). Then he turned to the women and said, “Yeah, BABY – Work it!”

    I turned to the kids and said, “do you EVER want a date in your entire lives? Don’t talk to women that way.” They did that stupid “cover sneer” that guys do when they’re caught doing something they shouldn’t and ran off. I sincerely hoped they bitched to Mommy about me, so I could let her know it was time to have a little talk with her son about now not to be a dick. Of course, they didn’t tell.

    “Locker Room Talk” is a way to fluff each other up to make sexual moves. As the song goes from “Into the Woods,” “be careful of things you say, children will listen. . .”

  • Growing up, all my girl friends and sisters experienced similar events, as did I. Very, very similar. It was so commonplace, that if you really think about HOW OFTEN IT HAPPENED you might wonder if you’d existed in an alternate universe. Because now, holy fuck, NOW we’d lose our shit if some jerk tried that again, right? But when you’re young – really young – and that awful crap starts happening, suddenly, unexpectedly, repeatedly, with such a VARIETY OF DOUCHEBAGS (including men you’d never think were douchebags), it becomes a creepy, uneasy part of your existence that you don’t know how to handle. And you carry that nastiness with you; it colours your life. It is not forgotten.
    You know what gets me? The number of mature, educated, kind, decent men who DON’T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES THIS SHIT HAS HAPPENED TO THE WOMEN IN THEIR LIVES: FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, FRIENDS. I almost pity their ignorance. I want to ask them if they’ve been living in an alternate universe. Sometimes, a well-meaning male friend will make some kind of attempt to shield me from, or steer me away from a potentially douchey person, like it’s a rare, unfortunate moment, and in that moment, I clearly see how oblivious he is to what women know. I almost want to laugh out loud and say, “Dude, I don’t NEED you to run interference. My 9 year old self was exposed to way worse than THAT! You think that because I didn’t have a “rough life” that somehow I was exempt from that shit?” Because that behaviour knows no boundaries.
    Trump’s narcissism isn’t the only reason he denies having sexually assaulted women. He just doesn’t equate certain aggressive, “playful” behaviour with assault. That kind of mis-comprehension is rampant among men. Clinton denied having sexual relations with Monica… ummm, I guess a blow-job is more like a handshake? Like, with your tongue and a penis? Just real friendly. Casual. Aw, hell, it don’t MEAN nothin’! Right.
    Thanks for sharing. I’m sorry all that nastiness happened to young M, and I wish nothing but peace and security to older M.

    • You are so right. I’m sorry that nastiness happened to all of us. It is part of our fabric and that is just how it is. But we do NOT have to accept it. And we can help future generations of women by rejecting this behavior and calling it out for what it is.

  • I’m so glad I started reading your blog. Recently I had reason to look through my middle school yearbook. And saw the message the school SECURITY GUARD wrote in it that made me ashamed to show it to anyone. I was in 7th grade and he wrote that he wanted to “get to know me better” and how “sexy” I was. This is a grown man (who was supposed to “protect” us) writing to a 13 year old girl. And *I* was the one who felt like I did something wrong! And I can guarantee you, even today, some 40 years later, my parents would tell me that it was my fault if they saw it.

    • Your parents are wrong. WRONG. It would NOT be your fault. I am sorry that happened. You deserved to be treated with dignity and to be kept safe. You were the child, the douche twizzle security guard was predatory.

      I’m glad you’re here! xo

  • *clap*
    *clap*
    *clap*
    Apparently being raised by males that indulge in ‘locker room talk’ warped our sense of right and wrong from the ‘git-go.’
    Halfa1000miles’ last post provided a shocking contrast for me. She was able to tell her husband to make her anesthesiologist ‘get off of her.’
    I called her ‘tuff.’ (My responding post got cyber-ate, so I didn’t finish the sentiment.)
    There have been SO FUCKING MANY TIMES that I scootched out of the way, scrunched tight against a hallway wall, or avoided entrances that ‘locker room behaviour enthusiasts’ used regularly just to avoid what I had been taught was ‘perfectly normal’ and to be expected cuz I was so darn pretty that it was MY FAULT that men couldn’t behave properly.
    Funny. I’ve NEVER thought I was anything close to ‘all that and a bag of chips.’
    Where the fuck is my Burka…
    Thanks, Michelle.
    For baring your soul, for providing guidelines for those of us that are still wading around in the grey areas… for standing strong in a time when the dictates say we should ‘quit making waves’ and ‘stop that whining.’
    C’mon Tink.
    Let’s go get purty 🙂
    Michelle needs a Psychotic Douche Twizzle concert.

    Me, too…

  • Well said!! I am horrified at some of the things you had to endure growing up, I think you are a welcome voice to many who keep silent. Hope that makes sense.. Love your blog and your views 🙂 xx

  • Michelle, I love reading your blog; you have such a wonderful way of looking at life. When I open your email in the morning I look forward to laughing out loud. So I’m saddened and angered when I read about your narcissistic dad and blogs like this one. Your words today are so true, anxiety-producing, terrifying. Men have NO idea what happens to us every day and that we put ourselves in harm’s way just by doing our usual, everyday activities. I have had to witness the masturbation thing three times – once when I was 18, walking home from school, the second time I was 21, and the third time I was in a parking lot at a mall. That time I called the police who were really helpful. They walked me through the steps to make a citizen’s arrest, which I did. And then… I never heard a word about the outcome. God help us all if our president is the monster who brags about assaulting women.

    • I am sorry there was no funny today. 🙁

      I don’t really plan them this way..I never know what I’m going to write about until I start writing. I had a whole section about the hashtag #RepealThe19th and it just didn’t work, so I removed it. I still want to write about that bullshit as well.

      I am sorry those things happened to you. I am so glad you stuck up for yourself. Go YOU!

  • Thanks for sharing your experience, Michelle. This is so important! I’m so sorry for the shit you’ve gone through. I’ve experienced so many of these situations too. I was cat called by men at the age of 10 and that was only the beginning. One nice thing about being an older woman, is that has stopped. I can walk down the street and not get harassed. I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my life.

    That Narcissist better not get in. VOTE y’all. I’m up North here, with my fingers crossed.

  • Please, someone tell me how to respond to my female friends who think that piece of shit walks on water. All the women “whining” about abuse are “whores” and I should move out of the country so that “they” can FINALLY follow the Constitution. I quite literally have nothing to say in response because my jaw is down around my knees. They come from an “upper class” economy, so maybe they don’t hear the same things I heard growing up, or don’t believe how harsh these situations are. One of them has raised a fine son (so far), so I’m assuming there are some things that we do agree on. Apparently, just not this psycho nut job. But while we all agree that this should finally be over, I keep thinking, OMG, what if he WINS!?!?!

    • For all that is holy..that is terrible. And he’s not going to win. I’m not even worried about that anymore. But him losing isn’t going to fix this problem. The problem will still exist.

  • I am sure this was hard to write, and I feel for you, and all who have been subjected to such shit, myself included.

    I don’t get a vote, being Canadian and all, but I am terrified that he will be elected.

    How can it have come to this? If it was a movie we would laugh at the absurdity of it all.
    But it isn’t a movie.

    It is our world.

    And no wonder my depressive symptoms are starting to ramp up – big time.

    I just want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.

    But, instead, I will follow your lead, and be brave and speak up.

    • He’s not going to win. There is just no way. It won’t be pleasant, but hopefully, we will be able to get past this little horror show quickly. the other stuff? That’s going to take time. And there is NOTHING wrong with hiding under the covers sometimes. Nothing at all.

  • Don’t know what to say except wow – thank you for this fearless post.

    I’m absolutely voting. It seems like Hillary is pulling ahead nicely but the scary thing is thinking that people might get complacent because of that and think it’s ok to stay home.

  • Damn it, I just wrote a comment and it disappeared. If it doesn’t show up in a while, I’ll come back and do it over.

  • OK, I’m trying this again. If the old one is stuck in your spam filter or something, you can do what you like with both of them.
    I don’t know whether this helps or not, but every time that creep says some over the top narcissistic bullshit, I think of you and hope that you’re OK. Also, what does it say about the kind of writing I’ve been doing online lately that I spelled narcissistic right the first try?
    He’s toast, by the way.
    There’s an Irish bookmaker called Paddy Power who royally pissed off the Republicans in 2012 by paying out on bets for an Obama win two days before the election.
    They’re already paying on bets for a Clinton victory. Here is where I dropped a link to their site in my previous comment, but I’m not doing that this time in case that’s why the last one didn’t post…
    Sometimes the abuse of power at the root of all of these misogynistic behaviors gets flipped and the women get the final say, and this election is a prime example. Trump is down 33 points with women, and there are more female voters than male voters.
    That, of course, doesn’t make the process of getting there any less horrific.
    I have found that I cope by finding things germane to the situation that actually raise my spirits instead of depressing them, like Michelle Obama’s speech about human decency. Human decency! Also, humor helps me a lot. I know you can’t watch a Youtube video at work, so check this out when you get home. It’s an animated music video by Kim Boekbinder called “Pussy Grabs Back”, which features, among other things, cats dancing in purple dresses with dangling Prince symbols to the chorus of “Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white man.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUh15js14Pg

    It made me smile about this whole shitshow, and that’s an achievement.

    • I love this so much. I am handling it okay, other than moments of white hot rage when he opens his ugly face hole and bullshit falls out of it. I have been more anxious, but honestly, given my age, that might have happened no matter what. I am endlessly impressed and comforted by Michelle Obama, I adore her. Humor, yes..humor helps a lot. That has always been my coping mechanism.

      I LOVE THE VIDEO. Holy shit, that is awesome. Thank you. 🙂

  • Well written piece Michelle! So many of us carry these stories, tucked away in a corner of our female minds eh? So much to say, so little space! I’ll start with a memory I have of being 15 at school, hot boy everyone fancies tries to kiss me in a quiet corridor, chuffed to bits I was, ‘oh he likes me! He then proceeds to trip me up, fucks me right there on the floor, over in oh, 3 seconds? Now I was a bit confused about how to react to that. Having a Narcissistic Father also, part of me, I think, was grateful for the attention, how fucked up is that!?. It wasnt till a couple of decades later that I found several of my peers who were also raped by this boy. We didnt seem to acknowledge the rape part at the time. Sexual abuse was most definitely something that was down played and accepted. Now as a confident, strong 46 year old woman it makes me mad as hell that this is still happening and that with the accessibility of porn its kinda getting worse, not better. Like its ok for males to be so predatory and woman to be so submissive? We need to educate our daughters that she WILL find herself in these situations, that it is not acceptable for a male to behave in this way and to stand up for herself and give her examples of how that can be done, we need that SOOO bad. We need to teach our sons why we all need Feminism (equality) why healthy boundaries are important. We really need open discussions about this stuff with our kids, in schools etc. We, as females need to be fucking tough and reclaim our power, to stop being polite, to stand up for ourselves and each other and not be ashamed to do that. This Misogynistic crap has gone on way too long.
    Now, Trump, dont you think its imperative that humans far and wide should educate themselves on the insidious beings that are Narcissists and Sociopaths? Ignorance makes us vulnerable to these incredibly dangerous people. They are only ever about ego, theirs, they care about NOONE. By nature, leading Countries is right up their street, all that yummy Narcissistic supply! Putin seems much the same..scary huh?

    • It truly is scary. Goddammit your story makes me angry. I totally get being grateful for the attention part..narcissistic parents really do a number on a kid.

      You are so right, we have to keep educating our children. We need to keep calling this out. I am ready to fight this battle until I die. I might not make a difference, but I sure as hell am going to try.

  • It rather sad such a man even made it into the presidential race but I think Americans really do expect more from their leaders. Doubtful he will win now he has been exposed.

  • Michelle, you hang in there, damnit! We’re nearly there, and I’m almost ready to breathe normally again. Your description of that icky feeling when you realize you’re about to become a victim was spot-on — I remember it vividly, and that video of how Trump goes after women made me physically ill. I hope and pray the Cheeto just sinks into his swamp after the election, and we’re able to move on to better days without him.

    • Yes! We are in the home stretch. I am sorry that you understand what it feels like to have that fear. At least we know we are not alone and I felt so alone in a lot of that crap for so many years.

  • Well said. Geez, I’m sorry all those things happened to you – that sucks. I too will be so glad when your elections are over because I am totally over them already. While I used to not understand why voting here is compulsory, I totally understand why it is. I hope that apathy on the part of the citizens of USA don’t allow him to get in because heaven help the rest of the world as well as the USA if he does.
    I keep saying “Surely, surely he won’t get any further” but he kept getting through. We were told he would never be endorsed. But he was. I am crossing everything I can possibly cross, that his run stops here and he doesn’t make it into the white house !!!!
    Have a wonderful evening and a great Friday xox

    • I was afraid too for a long time, but I truly believe he is done. No way is he going to be elected. I didn’t know your vote was compulsory. I mean, I can see the benefit to that.

  • Thank you. Yes. We’ve all just ‘lived with it’ and sucked it up and tried to pretend it wasn’t so bad because we’ve seen again and again what happens when you dare say anything.
    So, you’re right. If we all stop allowing our voices to be silenced by the sneers, we have so so much to say and we can be heard.

    If you need cheering up (and even if you don’t) check out #trumpbookreport

  • Powerful essay. Brave… raw… honest… empowering.

    You are so right. We can no longer be silent. Suffer in shame. We must speak up and speak out. Share our stories… show our scars for what they really are… symbols of the battles we have fought and survived. Because that’s what we are…

    Survivors, but more than just survivors. We are warriors. We have fought battles and will face more. And we will triumph.

    I am afraid of Donald Trump. A bit ashamed to admit it, but there it is. He frightens me. And it takes a lot for a person to frighten me… to scare me to the point of sleepless nights.

    I am fearless but not without fear. I am told that being brave means sometimes being afraid, that it is okay to be afraid as long as I don’t let that fear stop me.

    So yeah… I fear. But until this past year, watching Trump, it has been 11 years since I was afraid of a person… another human being.

    At the beginning of my senior year in college I was abducted and for the next six months lived a literal hell on earth. Six months of rapes, abuse and tortures that almost killed me. That took me to the edge of sanity and threatened to loose me into the dark abyss of madness.

    I survived that six months only to become so lost in the guilt and shame that I almost took my own life.

    It would be seven years though before I would tell anyone other than my now wife, Christina, and my therapist. It took me seven years to overcome the shame… shame that all that had happened to me I brought on myself, shame that it was my fault.

    Rape is an earthquake with a million aftershocks. 11 years later I still feel those aftershocks but I am no longer ashamed of what happened to me. I am no longer consumed by guilt that I “brought it on myself”.

    Four years ago I started talking about what happened to me. Four years ago I began writing my memoir.

    I have a story to tell and my days of silence are done.

    Yes, I am afraid of Donald Trump. But now…

    My voice will be heard.

    All of our voices will be heard.

    They must be because the cost of silence is too great a price to pay.

    The cost of silence is a debt we cannot afford to bear.

    Someone once said that tyranny thrives when good men and women are silent.

    We can no longer remain silent. There is too much at stake.

    • OMG I am crying for you. I am horrified that you suffered and I am furious that donald trump scares you. I am furious for what you went through. I am honored that you chose to share your story with me. Thank you. I am sending you all my peaceful thoughts. XOXOXOXOX

  • I’m saddened and outraged by all of those who dismiss what that buffoon said as locker room talk. Thank you for sharing your stories, and inspiring others to do so.

    • Thank you. I think we need to insist on being heard. This type of behavior won’t STOP, but if we are vocal, perhaps we can at least curtail it? I don’t know. Either way, this shit should no longer be in the shadows.

  • God, ur stories made me want to cry…..because I have some of the same ones. What a fucked up society we live in. We all need to band together, circle the fucking wagons, and come out blazing!! VOTE!! SPEAK UP!! I once slapped a guy at a racquetball tourney for using “friendly” and “rape” in the same sentence……the girls all cheered…..the mother fucker never said anything like that in front of me EVER again!!! Don’t take this shit anymore…..be vigilant…..but above all, be safe……

  • I’m calling it trumpxiety. I thought of that term the other night when I was lying awake, again, worrying about that orange-skinned, bleach haired, slit-eyed extra-terrestrial (I mean, really, how can someone so horrid in every way be from this planet?), worrying what our country is going to turn into if he wins this thing. I try, I really try, to believe that he can’t win. I want to believe, but I’m so afraid.

    Thank you for this great post and great conversation. Keep it going.

  • Michelle – I understand the men who don’t know. Because they don’t live in that world. My father has only ever been with one woman – my mother. And he waited until their wedding night, which was after college. Same with my BIL. NO “locker room talk” in their life. NONE. They don’t think it or tolerate it, so people don’t do it around them. So all my negative experiences were from the “outside world”, not at home. I was lucky, and I know it. I think it’s like the Drug World for me – I don’t get it. I don’t live there, at all. Never have. The Drug World is not in my life, even peripherally, so how would I know about it? The Rape Culture World is not in their life – at all.

    These men are not ignorant – they are kind, decent, moral, educated men who expect awesome things of themselves, expect good things of the world, and my Dad and BIL are officers, gentlemen, and men of honor – exactly what you want from leaders. If ALL our men were like them , the world would be an AMAZING place! I don’t fault them for not knowing – I applaud them for shutting it down and expecting excellence from those around them. No drugs, no smoking, no swearing, no cheating, no locker room talk – that’s how they lived. Perfect men? No. Trying to be really good men? Yes! Happen to be men of faith? Even church officers? Yes. What awesome role models for young men to follow.

    What really disappoints me is the women who are supporting the poor behavior, and almost encouraging men to follow Trump’s lead. I just don’t get it. Or, maybe I do – The women who are rude, and crude, and crass during “Girl’s Night Out”, and drunk, and talking sex trash aren’t really any better then the guys. So they defend the guys’ behavior, because they do it as women. I think it’s all disgusting and completely disrespectful. So I choose not to live in that world, either. I don’t do drunk, crude “GNO”, and some consider me boring. That’s OK – I don’t like their version of “exciting” or “entertainment”. The crude women will likely defend the crude men, and I will defend none of them. It has lead to an interesting weaning of my “friend” list on Facebook!

    Thank you for writing. But try to be gentle with the really, really good, kind, decent guys, as they truly cannot fathom the level of depravity in the world, and I personally think the world is better off for that. Let them defend your honor, set the bar high, and be role models. I am incredibly thankful for them every day.

    • It is so awesome that you have such wonderful men in your life. My husband is a truly amazing human who has nothing but respect for me and all humanity. I don’t fault anyone for not understanding because it’s not part of their reality. When I get annoyed and when I feel it is not helpful are the people who don’t have it as part of their lives and then deny that it happens. In any case, we are moving forward and for that I am grateful. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. XOXO

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