hanging on the passenger side of Access Hollywood’s ride
trying to grab a puss – y.
It’s not the first time I’ve wrote about this orange buffoon and the tornado of nonsensical sadism that surrounds his campaign nor do I think it will be the last. This lewd, big-mouthed bigot invokes a special kind of anger and disgust within others and myself because we have all met a Trump, an indisputable asshole should you have the misfortune of having a dispute with– goes way off point in a dramatic escapade to prove they are right and what’s more infuriating is the supporters, fans and groupies applauding his behaviour.
What is notable to me since ‘Pussygate’ is the camaraderie of tales, testaments and lack of surprise from females globally on the subject – we are offended but not surprised by the comments because, as I’ve mentioned, we’ve all met one or several Trumps in our lives. The way rape culture is perceived as a relatively contemporary merger with our society is bullshit, it’s always been there since the beginning of time, it is just now we have the technology and the freedom to share stories on first hand accounts.
The new video that surfaced today of Trump casually intruding on a ten year old girl’s being by inappropriately commenting ‘I’ll be dating her in ten years, can you believe that?’ will be played off as an innocent joke, compliment even, when it’s shit like this is the fringe of rape culture and the reasons women feel so insecure and unsafe in their own bodies. As a child, it is confusing and scary to be sexualised and objectified. From far too early on we realise that the bad things that happen the princesses in our storybooks may not all be fiction. We are warned to be careful around men, not to go on our own with any men, don’t let anyone touch us – yet it cant really be explained to us why, as we are too young to comprehend but at no age safe from not having to know. How many times have you heard someone say to a parent ‘oh be careful with her, all the boys will want her.’ People say this innocently about young girls but it sets a precedent that as a girl you should be careful if the boys should want you – because they can, if they choose to. You are told pull down your skirt and cross your legs and wear a training bra at the first hint of breasts and when we ask why we are told ‘because you have to’, not told directly that these are mechanisms to protect yourself and deter unwanted advances. As a grown up these restrictions still apply and this list of unwritten rules only gets longer.
Any female I’ve shared stories with about this have concurred that their first memory of feeling objectified did not come from any male peers but much older boys, or adult men. In what is unfortunately considered normal and benign cases, the first memory of being objectified is an older man cat calling on the street or wolf-whistling from a car. Someone looking you up and down in a way that is unfamiliar, you’re not aware of the reason behind it but you know it’s predatory; that you feel threatened, unnerved and defensive. As we grow older, we become accustom to it, develop individual defence strategies. Throughout the ages, avoiding, deterring or tolerating harassment has been the primary attribute for survival passed from woman to woman. We are taught we can’t walk around late at night on our own, we shouldn’t drink so much we let our guard down or lose our wits, we shouldn’t wear revealing clothing and we shouldn’t be too flirty, why? Because, to some folk, that is an invitation to grab a pussy.
Even something as simple as that girl being in the presence of an asshole led to him saying ‘I’m going to be dating her in ten years.’ That encroaching dominance is revolting as a child when you don’t understand why an adult man would associate you, a young girl, with an embodiment of adulthood. It still sickens and infuriates me when I’m on the train and look up from my phone or book and see a man staring at me in an ogling way. It makes me do a checklist of my whole being; my posture, the position of my clothes, make sure I am not revealing too much skin (A routine you become accustomed to from youth because of the offhanded response to comments like Trumps). Once I have done my checklist I retaliate with a look, similar to that of Eleven’s from Stranger Things when she’s doing her mojo thing, occasionally I give them the finger. What I actually feel like doing is screaming at them – but I can’t, for it is the woman who will be called hysterical, as he ‘was only looking’. These are not the type of men you are warned about in movies – boogiemen, ghoulish characters, these are just men – going to work, just like you – staring at your body almost unconsciously.
Obviously this behaviour speaks for only a certain calibre of men, not all men are vulturous bullies, but unfortunately it’s pretty frickin’ common. I have no idea why people are surprised at this considering all of the vile, masochistic rhetoric Trump has spewed at targeted women throughout his campaign, as well as the cases of sexual assault that have been filed against him. When asked about the tape during the recent debate, he tried to completely distract from the issue launching into a long-winded, irrelevant boast of defeating ISIS- not how he will do that either, just that he will.
The whole debate was reminiscent of a school yard bully getting called out on their shit and trying to spin the whole story to avoid reprehension. During one of his tantrums he protested that the mediators favoured Clinton and it was like ‘3 against 1’. I expected him to begin using ‘I know you are but what am I?’ and ‘so is your face’ as rebuttals before grabbing one of them shouting “stop hitting yourself.”
He says ‘they are just words’. These words are demeaning, threatening and violent towards women – he is not being punished for his crime. It is sending the message that men in any type of power position have dominance over women and this is allowed in our society, just don’t get caught. What’s equally as bad is the female trump supporters justifying his behaviour by suggesting its was just boyish banter. We have seen too much of this ‘boys will be boys’ attitude over the recent months, and oh yeah, eternity.
This is rape culture. Anyone who denies rape culture has never been a victim to it (i.e male) or too naïve and dumb to see it. There are nice guys in this world, men who have respect for women and individual rights, awesome dudes who don’t look at women like meat and don’t believe of their dominance over women. I know a lot of these guys, some of whom deny rape culture is evident in daily life (because they aren’t guilty of playing a role in it nor been a victim to it). They believe that these opinions are exaggerated and tar all men with the same sexist brush.
Some also refuse to wear the label of ‘feminist’, preferring to identify as an ‘equalist’, the prominent reason being, they believe everyone is equal. I think the reason anyone says both these things is because they can sympathise (and have the ability to extend that into a wish for everyone to be equal) but they cannot empathise. An equalist is someone who believes in the equal rights to all human beings regardless of gender, race, background etc. that’s awesome kiddo, good for you, totally agree with you. But if you are an equalist who refuses to identify with the word feminism then you are a confused little nugget and need to get your shit together to see why the fuck us dolls have our knickers in such a twist.
No, it’s not just because Beyoncé put it in a song, it’s not because Lena Dunham sings the word from the rooftops or cause it’s trendy; it’s because we are treated differently to men, we have experiences that are, generally, unique to having a pussy and I think this marauding Oompa Loompa is a prime example to showcase this allowance of male predatory.
Yes, men have their own issues and difficulties that must not be demoted but if you agree that women shouldn’t have to be censored and hyper-aware of their surroundings and company constantly to ensure personal safety then you, buddy ole pal, are a feminist.
The thoughts of this essay are pretty all over the place, but hey, such is life. What I’m trying to say is all male and females need to lean in and stop this patriarchal favouring bullshit that wholly aids the assailant over the victim, we need to obliterate the dismissive response to the casual sexual harassment of women as it plants the seeds of a much darker tree and for the love of God America don’t let this man be president.
Author: Shaunna Lee Lynch
About: I am an Irish writer, performer, avid day dreamer, generally enthusiastic, hip hop enthusiast,living in Hong Kong.