It’s been nine days since I informed the internet that I have been sexually assaulted more than once.
To be honest, I didn’t really mean to ‘come out’ like that. I’ve been shocked at the feeback I’ve gotten. I’ve heard that I’m brave for sharing. I’ve been asked why I’m sharing at all. I’ve been encouraged to continue writing. And, for the first time ever, I’ve actually gotten private messages from people sharing their own experiences and thoughts.
I don’t know if I’m brave because I share or if I share to make myself brave. I do know that I will continue to write. Somehow, that post came out just two days before sharing stories like that became the ‘normal’ thing to do.
It’s been one week days since a video came out of Donald Trump and Billy Bush privately talking about how being rich and powerful is helpful when assaulting women.
Suddenly, sexual assault became a hot topic. Trump’s poll numbers have plummetted as he called the conversation “locker room talk”. Republicans have withdrawn their support for him. Athletes have corrected him, telling him what locker room talk really sounds like. It’s seeming unlikely that he can win the presidency (thank God, but how did he get this far, and also just because he probably won’t win doesn’t mean you don’t need to VOTE!!!)
It’s been one week since Kelly Oxford asked women on Twitter to share their experiences of sexual assault using the hashtag #notokay.
Suddenly, my blog post from last week didn’t feel so personal. I’ve started wondering if the fact that Donald Trump is actually the nominee for President of the United States of America is part of the reason I’ve been writing so much about gender recently. As I’ve been reading tweets and exploring the world wide web, I’ve realized just how many women have had experiences similar to my own. I’ve also realized how important it is to keep talking, keep asking, and keep listening. To everyone.
It’s been five days days since I saw a Tweet arguing that talking about all this does nothing.
There are a lot of people out there who still don’t believe this is happening. And way more who just can’t fathom it (like a good male friend of mine who once asked me and two other girls in the most casual way he could manage if it was “actually true” that “all of us had been groped on public transportation”. Yes, we all have, and also it’s super cool (in a non-sarcastic way) you were brave enough to ask. Obviously, this isn’t something you probably want to bring up with someone you just met. But talk to your friends who are different from you. It really doesn’t do much (other than provide some much needed relief and camraderie) to have a bunch of women in a room together talking about things that men aren’t even aware of.
It’s been three days since Michelle Obama personally responded to Trump’s comments, telling us that this is ‘not politics as usual’.
Just go watch the speech if you haven’t seen it already. Honestly.
And it’s been over a week since I’ve written a blog post.
Because I just don’t understand how the only good thing coming out of Donald Trump’s (he’s running for President) campaign seems to be thousands of women (and men) understanding for the first time what assault is, how rape culture works, and feeling like they might be listened to for the first time ever.
And at the same time, Donald Trump is the official nominee of the Republican Party. That means that many many many Americans support him. That means that he might be the loudest one right now, but he’s definitely not the only one. He’s legitimizing xenophobia, racism, sexism, and so many more bad -isms. Even if he doesn’t win, it seems that we have a long way to go.