By EMILY GROTTLE
No matter how many times someone tells me I need to accept the fact that Donald Trump is the president, I will not, because I can never respect this man. Trump has been accused on multiple accounts of sexual harassment, and he continues to demean and belittle women because he is a celebrity in the eyes of the media. We need to break the silence on Trump and recognize that what this man has been getting away with for years is simply unacceptable.
According to The Atlantic, along with the 2005 recording of Trump saying it is okay to “grab them [women] by the pu**y,” he also said “when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” This is a dangerous abuse of power and further proves that he not only disrespects women, but also believes that being famous means he has immunity when it comes to the rights of others. This screams in the faces of women that speaking out against sexual assault, especially against someone in a position of power, is useless. This is not okay.
Two women shared their experiences with Trump’s sexual assault with The New York Times. Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks are just two of the many women whom Trump has assaulted. Ms. Leeds, now 74, was in her thirties when Trump assaulted her. She was on an airplane, sitting beside him in first class. According to The New York Times, Leeds said “about 45 minutes after take-off, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her…[he] grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hands up her skirt.” She only told a few people at the time of the incident, but went public when Trump said during the second presidential debate that he “had boasted about kissing women without permission and grabbing their genitals. But he had never actually done those things.” Crooks also spoke out about her experience with Trump after he said this.
Crooks was only 22-years-old when Trump assaulted her at work. According to The New York Times, she was working as a receptionist for Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan. Crooks introduced herself to Trump as she was aware they would be doing business together. She told The New York Times that when they shook hands, “he would not let go, instead, he began kissing [her] on the cheeks…then directly on the mouth.” She was shook up and was quoted saying that she “can’t do anything to this guy, because he’s Donald Trump.”
Trump denies all sexual assault allegations made against him (of which there are many). By denying the claims against him, Trump takes away the agency of these women. The women who chose to speak out should not be silenced by him or his supporters.
If people in power are allowed to believe that treating women inappropriately is OK, then what does this teach our youth? The rape myth cannot continue. The fact is that an accused rapist and sexual predator is our president. One can turn a blind eye to that fact or choose not to believe it, but it is true and women have spoken out. What is frightening about Trump are his insistent remarks that he did not commit the sexual assault crimes he was accused of. The dangers of the patriarchy are deeply seated into him and his personality.
If you are a supporter of his, I urge you to consider this information. Sexual assault is never OK. By reporting it and talking about it, we can hope to dispel the rape myth and let voices of victims and survivors not just be heard, but be listened to.