Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rape Culture Watch: Donald Trump edition

[Content note: sexual assault, rape]

This election cycle is such a shit show that I haven't wasted much of my very scarce and precious time commenting on it.

It, literally and figuratively, has made me want to puke. Proud racist, sexist, xenophobic, islamophobic, and (likely) rapist, Donald Trump has consumed the headlines. By now everyone is well aware of the disgusting content of a tape from 2005 where he was talking flippantly about sexually assaulting women. Numerous accusers have emerged.

None of this is news to you, I'm sure.

I want to briefly speak to one small part of it. You see, I was just watching the "Not OK" video about this all, in which various women and girls share about their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment. I immediately related to them, thinking specifically about some really scary incidents of unwelcome groping in high school and terrifying comments by grown men in public when I was as young as 12. Memories that, despite my line of work and my general knowledge/empowerment in this area, I have tried to deeply suppress into the recesses of my mind.

Then I found myself treading into some new shitty thoughts, "If I talk about these experiences, people will think I'm making it up because no one would do that to me, I'm not pretty enough."

Rape culture is a hell of a drug.

Here I am, speaking out against this type of mentality all the time, but I apply it to myself. You see, the rape culture tells lots of lies, one of which being that fat/conventionally unattractive women should be thankful if someone has "interest" in us or that you "can't" be raped if you're fat or whatever. (See a great piece at Black Girl Dangerous about this.)

In fact, as I was having this thought, I remembered that Trump has his own fucked up take on this line of reasoning. He actually said: "She wouldn't be my first choice" about one of his accusers. That's right, y'all...a nominee of a major American political party for president essentially said, "I'd be a rapist if the girl's hot enough."

I know, I know, this mentality is disgusting and here I was thinking it myself.

Ah well, all it proves is that 1) YES the rape culture is still alive and well 2) Trump is a disgusting piece of shit and 3) I'm still on that journey to self acceptance. Lots of things we already knew.

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