I have numerous reasons why Trump should not be sworn in as our commander-in-chief. Every day there is a new reason. The racist remarks about Muslims, Mexicans and blacks, sexist comments about any woman who dared disagree or confront him, suggesting supporters should shoot Hillary Clinton, lying about everything, failing to disclose taxes, failing to disclose ties to Russia, not allowing freedom of press, encouraging supporters to attack the press, talking about the size of his dick during a debate…
But the thing that sticks with me, the issue I can’t seem to get past is that he admitted numerous times to being a sexual predator. Bragged about it even.
In response to Stern holding up pictures of women Donald Trump had slept with, Trump stated:
“Actually, some of the ones on the chart were not victims.”
Howard Stern Show – 2004
This is not to mention over a dozen women who have come forward to say that Trump did exactly those things he bragged about to them. Every day there’s a new story, another woman coming forward, another video or audio of him bragging. Trump and his minions react the way predators always do, they attack their victims. Assaulting them all over again. The women who claim to have been assaulted by Trump are deemed liars, not attractive enough to sexually assault or trying to get fame. Why had they waited so long Trumpians asked.
“And when you’re a star, they just let you do it. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump said to Billy Bush.
Access Hollywood 2005 video.
This is all very personal to me as it is to many women. In the mid 1990’s I was a federal agent. One night during the 4 month long academy, I was walking to my housing when a classmate offered to walk with me. I said I was fine but he insisted. Once home, he attempted to rape me. Pushing me against a wall he punched me in the face and began tearing at my jeans. I punched back but it had no impact as he was twice my size. I felt swallowed by him. I could not get out from his grasp; his hands were large like baseball gloves.
I remember the smell of his sweat and cologne. The smell of beer on his breath as he tried to kiss me. The pockmark scars on his face. His dark, bristly moustache. Writing this, hearing Trump’s comments takes me back there, I feel weak and defenseless again, vulnerable and disgusting. I franticly kicked and punched until I thought my hands would break. I was able to escape only when one of my blows hit him in the groin. I ran to my room and locked the door. Crying uncontrollably I stayed up all night afraid he’d come back and kick the door in. We had no phones or cell phones. There was no one to help. It was not until the next morning that I realized I had come away with a cracked rib, black eye, bruises all over my body and scratches from the brick wall on my back. I did not report the incident.
When we first arrived at the academy, they separated the men and the women. They told the women we were to get training on proper grooming. The men were given a talking to, as I later discovered, about how women will file EEO against them whether sex was consensual or not. Meanwhile, though the one female agent at the academy did cover grooming standards with us, her main topic was about how we should never file EEO. That meant that if we were ever sexually assaulted, we should never file a complaint. She then went on to tell us how the all male staff would use this to fire us during our probationary period. There were plenty of examples of women being fired from the academy for academic or physical fitness reasons and plenty more for having filed EEO complaints. No more than 2 women ever graduated in a class. Less than 2% of the force were women and that was counting the civilian employees, secretaries and such. I needed this job. I had school loans to pay and nowhere else to go. So I did not file.
I saw my abuser every day. I sat in the same classrooms with him. I did my best to avoid him until a week later I was forced to fight one on one in defense tactics with my abuser. He was 6’4″ and over 200lbs. I was 5’5″ and roughly 130lbs. I was not allowed to use my legs, hit him in the eyes or groin; all tactics that women use because men are simply biologically stronger in their upper bodies. He threw me into the walls over and over while the instructors laughed. Each time he whispered in my ear, “Fuck you cunt!” Then I would fly through the air, hit a wall and slide down only to be told to attack him again. In the women’s locker room, the other women saw my bruises and urged me go forward. Something was obviously up. I was set up for this and we all knew it. Still, I did not file.
“It’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things,” Trump said.
One man out of over 60 of my classmates went forward. He told the staff that my abuser had gone into the locker room and bragged saying, “That fucking bitch will never say no to me again. I fucking showed her!” Only one man came forward to tell of my abuser’s “locker room talk.” One classmate. One out of over 60. Men I had studied with for over 3 months. Classmates I’d worked out with. I knew many of their wives, their children and yet, only one. When I asked them why, they stated that they were told not to trust women, that we make up stories of sexual abuse. They’d remembered the lies their male instructors had told them. The following day, the supervisor stood before us and told everyone that he was not going to listen to any more whining. That if any of us women had a complaint, we should file EEO or shut up. I did not file.
They still tried to fire me. I was the only female at my station. I was written up because, “Her facial expressions give me the impression she does not like me.” Porn was left in my station mail slot. Back up would not arrive when I called for it. The men at the station spread rumors that I was sleeping with a supervisor, though I never even dated another agent. Plus, I was and am gay. Though once I came out, that still didn’t stop the rumors.
I eventually, found other agents, male agents who respected me. Agents who knew that the rumors were lies. I won accommodations and became a well respected agent. But that did not stop the rumors. Any promotion or detail I earned was because I’d either slept with someone or because the all male superiors were afraid I’d file EEO on them. The week I left, a superior said to me, “I’ve always wanted to know…did you file EEO and then fuck Davis to keep your job?” I turned and walked out without a word.
“Donald seriously. You know about sexual predators and things like that,” Stern said. “You are one,” yelled Robin Quivers.
“That’s true. That’s true,” said Donald Trump.
Howard Stern Show – 2006
So you see, for me that “locker room talk” is much more. I understand that men and even some women will brag about sex or comment on physical attributes of others. That is locker room talk. Bragging about sexual assault is not. Trump’s locker room talk is traumatic for me. But what I find even more traumatic are the attacks that his supporters, both men and women, are committing against these women. Just like I was, they have been called liars and threatened. This is why we don’t come forward.
When we do dare to come forward, we become the villains. We become the punching bags. We lose our jobs, our self esteem, our faith in humanity. We are victimized again and again. We learned from Anita Hill that when we come forward, our accuser will become a supreme court justice. We learned from the Clinton accusers, yes I believe their stories too, that he will become president. We learn in our own lives and other women around us that nothing happens to these men. Should they even see the light of a court room, chances are they won’t be convicted and if they are, they will do very little time. Just look all the rapes that occur on college campuses and the male judges who then sentence these young perpetrators to little time over and over again.
We women get it. That’s why we don’t file. That’s why we try to just move on with our lives. That’s why when another man trying to become president is found to be a sexual predator, we become enraged. We start to stand up. When Trump had the nerve to use Clinton’s accusers to say he wasn’t that bad of a predator, I lost it. Once again he was using women for his own purposes. He abused those women again.
I don’t know what hurts more, Trump doing those things or that millions of Americans can look past it and make him president. It says to those of us who have been victims of sexual assault that our pain does not matter. Worse, it says to those who will be victimized in the future that they are better off keeping their mouths shut.