(photo credit Jessica Bennett)
I’m not an American citizen. I can’t vote in the upcoming election, but today I’ve been triggered and upset due to the state of American politics.
American friends, I urge you to vote and to consider your vote carefully.
I, and other survivors of sexual violence, have struggled today. Women (and others impacted by gender based violence) have felt a little more uncomfortable and that their world is a little less safe. And decent men and masculine folks, you are harmed by these comments as well.
I’m talking about rape culture.
It’s 2016, and one of the people running to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world, is promoting racism, xenophobia, patriarchy, and rape culture. A disturbing proportion of what this man says is actually considered hate speech by many people around the world.
A politician should be a leader and set the tone for the people they lead.
Glorifying sexual assault is disgusting and it gives people the clear message that consent is optional. If you are rich and powerful you have the right to take sex. If someone says no, then just try harder. Or better yet, don’t ask at all…just grab their ****. It sickens me.
I’ve had a difficult day today. As a woman, I do not exist to be a sexual object for others. As a woman, I do not want to be treated as if my word is less valid because of my gender. If I say no, I mean no. Consent culture is important to me. As a woman first and as a survivor of sexual violence.
I don’t want to live in a world where the leader of the country to the south of us grabs women without their consent and then brags about it after. I don’t want my children (or any children!) seeing this as normal behaviour. It’s not just locker room banter, it’s assault, harassment, hate speech and misogyny. A world where this is normal reduces women to sexual objects and men to sex crazed, power hungry rapists. It benefits no one.
I don’t want to live in a world where racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia are being spouted by world leaders. It scares me, and I benefit from white privilege. It scares me that anyone would even consider voting for this man. It scares me to think of the divisive direction this world will take with him at the helm.
It benefits no one.
We are better than this.