November 21, 2016

A Liberal Woman’s Letter To Trump Supporters About Sexual Assault

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What is the issue?
Unsplash, Cristian Newman
Unsplash, Cristian Newman

I am a woman, and I did not vote for Donald Trump. If this automatically makes you angry, then I implore you to keep reading.

When I awoke the day after the election, I cried. That may sound ridiculous to some of you, but it is my reality. I don’t ask you to understand it, but I do ask you to respect it. I want you to know that I respect your vote, and I promise to keep an open mind as Trump lays out his plans and policies.

The most upsetting part of this election, for me, was when I had to explain to my nine-year old daughter that America voted for a man who was accused of sexually assaulting women.

You may want to scream and pound your laptop screen now. You may want to hurl out obscenities about cigars and Bill Clinton. Let me assure you that Bill Clinton’s behavior towards women also disgusts me. I would not have voted for him if he had been running.

If you were appalled by Bill Clinton’s actions towards women, I’m glad. It means we agree on something. I hope you also have issues with Trump’s behavior, and you would never let his cruel actions towards women guide his policy. You can’t have issues with one man’s actions towards women, but not the other. If you do, you are a hypocrite.

Some of you will scream that Trump is innocent. You will convince yourself that those women must all be lying. You will rant and rave about the liberal media.

The reality is that, statistically speaking; the percentage of women who lie about being sexually assaulted is less than two percent.

Another alarming statistic is that one in four women will be a victim of rape or sexual assault in their lifetime. Those are your daughters, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, friends, and coworkers. Sexual assault does not discriminate across party lines. We are all at risk.

It may seem easy to write women off as emotional, dramatic, or crazy when we tell you that we are afraid to be ruled by a man who celebrates grabbing a woman by the pussy without her permission, but our fear is real. You are lucky not to walk the streets with fear like this.

Have you ever been catcalled while walking on a street by yourself? When you go to the bar, do you ever think twice about the dangers of a date rape drug? Have you ever been sent dicks pics by a man you hardly know? Have you then been called a bitch when you said no to a date with him?

Have you ever been touched in ways that were uncomfortable or unwelcome by men who felt your body was their entitlement? Have you ever been called a slut, whore, or someone who deserved what they got, because of what you wore or simply because you had an opinion? Has a domesticate partner ever hit you? Have you ever been a victim of rape?

We do live in a rape culture. If you do not believe that, go read the victim’s statement in the Brock Turner case. Could you ever imagine being passed out naked behind a dumpster while a strange man forced himself inside your body? A good majority of the world wants to believe that the young woman was at fault. Are you one of them? I hope not.

If you are one of them, you are the reason we are crying. You are the reason we petition and protest, and you will be the reason we stay divided. If you want us to stop, we humbly ask you to change your patriarchal and misogynist views and make the world safe again.

No woman should ever have to defend herself when she is raped, assaulted, or attacked. Maybe, if you stand with us on the issue, we wouldn’t feel such a passionate need to picket.

I do respect your vote for Trump. I do realize he is going to be our President. I am willing to listen with an open mind to his plans and policy. I will advocate and support the decisions he makes when I feel they support the America I want my daughter to grow up in. That is not a country fueled by hate.

I will raise my voice and my power when he tries to enact legislation that puts down minority groups. The beauty and the bedrock of democracy is that we are all afforded that right. To disrespect a person’s right to protest or disagree, is to disrespect the freedom our country is built on.

I ask you this, why should government be allowed to tell me what I can or cannot do with my body? If the government wanted to legislate what you could or could not do with your penis, wouldn’t you protest?

I’ve seen how some of you behave when we want to take away your guns, and those aren’t even attached to your body. So, my guess is that you would be marching in the street too. You know what? I’d support you. Just like I support your right to vote Trump, even though I am afraid and do not agree with the majority of his presidential platform.

For those men who want to stand up and scream at women protestors to calm down, I ask you to stand up beside us instead.

Stand up beside minorities, gays, and transgender people. Stand up and recognize that we do not have to agree on every issue, but we need to live in a country where that disagreement is safe from legislation and hate.

The reality is that men have held power in this country since its inception, and so the typical white male has never really had to worry that the government would strip him of his basic rights. Be cognizant of your white male privilege. Use it to support the equality of everyone, and maybe we can come together as a stronger nation because of it.

Because when you don’t, when you tell us we are overreacting, we have no other alternative but to worry that Trump is the monster we fear and that you, his supporters, are the misogynists, racists, or homophobic individuals we are fighting against. TC mark

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