I’m Sorry

Alexander Archipenko, "Seated Woman," 1912-Bronze

Alexander Archipenko, “Seated Woman,” 1912-Bronze

Really, I’m sorry.  I’m sure you’re tired of reading and hearing about this, everyone who’s anyone or no one has already blogged, posted, written this article or that essay.  I want to let this go, want to roll my eyes at the stupidity of people and snicker about those on the Right getting the candidate they deserve.  I can’t do it.  I can’t let it go, and I don’t believe anyone deserves someone who brags about sexual assault as their President.  Not even those who want him.  Maybe especially not them, because in the year 2016, there shouldn’t be one woman in the world who believes sexual assault against women is a man’s right. Not one woman.

I can be uptight in many ways, but language isn’t one of them.  I straight out tell people not to bother checking out Mrs Fringe if they’re offended by the word fuck.  I tell them because I acknowledge that some people are offended by certain words, and if you are, you aren’t going to be happy here.  I love language, and I love words, all of them.  Words are powerful, written or spoken they can outlast a good deed, a box of candy, they can remain and ring through your brain and guts longer than any slap upside your head.  A couple of years ago there was a hashtag that went around twitter, #yesallwomen in response to #notallmen, I blogged about it here.

And here we are again.  Only I’m seeing “not all men,” “not my men,” “not my sons,” etc, in response to comments and posts supporting Trump, saying that horrific tape of him speaking about women, with charming highlights like, “I moved on her like a bitch,…she was married…you can do anything,” and of course, “Grab them by the pussy.”  I literally feel sick to my stomach with every comment and post I see in support of him and his words.  Here’s the thing, most of those posts and many of those comments are from women.  Women.  Protesting that all men speak that way, no big deal, it’s only words.  No, these aren’t only words.  And no, I haven’t suddenly become a delicate fucking flower, offended by the word pussy, in need of men to stand up for me and remind everyone that when Trump was speaking, he was speaking about someone’s wife, mother, daughter.  I saw a meme floating around to the effect of “If Trump’s words are so offensive to women, who bought a gazillion copies of Fifty Shades of Gray?” Sigh.  If this makes sense to you, look up logical fallacy.

These language used is not colorful, against the rules of the FCC, or naughty.  They are words describing assault, making it clear that he sees nothing wrong with literally aggressively touching and grabbing another human being whether they want to be touched or not.  A likely smaller person, not as strong physically, and likely someone he’s in a position of power over.

I don’t want to hear about responses that begin “But Hillary,” or “Well Bill.”  This has absolutely nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, and she is not responsible for what Bill Clinton chose to do.

When I was 16 I worked as a cocktail waitress.  Think about that for a second.  16, working as a cocktail waitress.  Standards, not that high.  I remember one busy night, I had just begun serving wine to a large table, no room to maneuver with another table right behind me when one of the men reached back and, well, grabbed me by the pussy. In the moment, with his wife sitting right next to him, I was stunned.  He said (exact quote, because WORDS), “Sorry sweetie, I touched your box.”  And he smiled.  A fucking fifty year old man, who turned his back to his wife and didn’t move his hand.   At this point in my life, I had already learned there were situations where I could be out numbered and overpowered but this wasn’t one of them.  I lifted the still full carafe of wine I was holding and poured it on him, “Sorry, sweetie, did I pour that on your dick?”

The manager came flying across the restaurant and hustled me into the kitchen before going back to the table, apologizing profusely and comping their wine and their meal.  I didn’t lose my job, I had been working there long enough and the manager knew me well enough to know I wasn’t kidding, imagining, or exaggerating what had happened.  If you’re thinking what a good guy the manager was, stop.  This is the same man who, when I asked for a specific day off from work a few months later, told me he’d be willing to give it if I “popped his son’s cherry.”  In retrospect, I’m sure the whole underaged thing played into the decision to keep me, too, not a scenario where he would want attention.  It didn’t occur to me that by comping this man’s meal, he was rewarding him for being a pig, I was just grateful not to be fired.  I’ll be honest, at that time, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to make a “bigger deal” of what happened.  Sure I knew I didn’t want his hands on me, and I sure as shit could tell him to get his fucking hands off of me, but I’m not sure I knew I had the right to do so, and I had no idea that this was something that could be considered assault.  If someone had floated the word to me at that time, in 1980something south Brooklyn, I would have either laughed or taken off, certain that I would be the one in trouble.  Why? I don’t know, something about not having dangly bits and being the kind of girl who worked as a cocktail waitress.

I’m not sixteen anymore, and I know better. I know better, my husband and I have both taught our sons better, we’ve taught our daughter better.  That doesn’t make us anything more than decent human beings, who’ve tried to raise decent human beings.  Don’t you dare, anyone, tell me or anyone else, that Trump’s words are no big deal.  I’m not offended.  I’m sickened that anyone, male or female, is telling our children that assault of women is okay.  I’m disgusted that there are women who are just fine with this type of behavior for themselves, their children, their loved ones, for the hussy down the street they’ve hated since the third grade.  I’m saddened that people are perpetuating the myth that women are less than men, because that’s what you’re saying when you condone this message.  I’m angry, because get your hands off my body!  This isn’t about not-all-men speak this way, or think this way.  This is about no woman should accept this as a fact of life, ever, and it is unacceptable for any man.  Not if he’s older or younger, rich or poor, famous and powerful or a shlub toiling away in obscurity.  #Notoneman.

13 comments

  1. Trump is a disgusting foul mouth bastard and I am not a prude well not much of a prude but he is slimy and disgusting and if he gets elected America will be in trouble as the American president like the leader of most countries has to know how to be diplomatic and not insult other world leaders and I don’t see Trump being able to do that this man if he met a female head of some country would say or do something disgusting causing an international issue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree completely. Bad enough America is so backwards that it’s taken until 2016 to have a female nominee, to even consider electing someone who is such a misogynist is more than disgraceful, it’s a recipe for disaster. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. What he said was absolutely disgraceful. I get so offended by his surrogates saying that’s just how men talk when they’re together. It may be how Donald Trump and his friends talk, but I’ve never spoken like that about women and I don’t know any other man who does. Perhaps it says something about the kind of company Donald Trump and his associates keep.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You know what’s funny–no, not funny. The opposite of funny. You wrote this before last night’s debate, when the asshole actually said, “It’s just words.”

    When I saw that tape from 2005, I actually started shaking. I was so infuriated by it because what those two men said, then DID to that unsuspecting young woman, was truly beyond the pale. For Trump to dismiss the atrocity as “just words” is not only unconscionable, but reflective of his utter lack of . . . decency? Humility? Honesty? Integrity? Respect for another human being?

    Something is missing in the man that should be there. Trump tries and tries to fill that empty space with words, but he doesn’t get it: his words always give him away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, I can’t claim clairvoyance, at last night’s debate Trump was merely pandering to his base, a vocal group that tripped over themselves to say “it’s just words” on every media platform available since this storm broke on Friday. Yes, something is missing, something is broken in Trump–but something is missing and broken in our country for him to have more than 3 defenders. These weren’t just words, these were an expression of his lack of respect for women and superiority complex. Words matter, and words are powerful. Language gives us a vehicle for empathy, for compassion, and words give us laws and limits.

      Like

    1. 😦 It is. I don’t know what to say anymore, it’s all too clear how many people view and accept women as less-than, to the point where abuse and assault is preferable to a Democratic candidate, how many didn’t/don’t even pause when the victims of Trump’s totalitarian views were people of color, how many view “stardom” as of greater value than experience and intelligence. We are not ok, and I’m beginning to wonder if we ever will be.

      Like

  4. Those who toss up the misplaced argument of popular FICTION, regardless of how well or poorly it’s written, miss the entire point that it’s not about the INclusion of sex. It’s about the EXclusion of consent. I don’t give a rat’s ass that a Presidential candidate said the word “pussy”. I care that he bragged openly about getting his sexual kicks without consent.

    He wasn’t a 17-year-old punk trying to show off in the school locker room. He was (at the time) a 50-year-old “highly respected” and recently married businessman who was bragging about trying to force a married woman into bed with him because he was rich. Gods know what that fuckwad would do if he got into the Oval Office and became the leader of the last Super Power on the planet.

    Yes, many Presidents have been womanizers and had non-traditional sexual leanings, but none have been stupid enough to get caught red-handed during the election process. And even when those issues did come up later, they were handled without interfering with running the damn country… as opposed to this bullshit reversing of blame and claiming narcissistic victimization by the offender, himself.

    How he’s still in the running is completely beyond me, and I hate to think that many Americans can be so easily fooled and follow him eagerly back generations to “the good ‘ole days” of civil unrest, brutality, and inequality… but there it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and I are 100% in agreement here. I too, hate the thought of so many Americans willing to carry his torch, support his message of hate and be swindled by his self-proclaimed worth. Even worse are those who DO know better, understand the implications of who he is and all he says, but don’t care, because they’d rather watch our democracy implode than give up a dollar. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s