When my daughter was a toddler I taught her to never let any man touch her private places. Anywhere her bathing suit covered was off limits. Even doctors were not allowed to touch her unless I was in the room with her.
I taught her to always use the buddy system with another girl. To never go anywhere unless she was with another girl.
I taught her to never be alone with a boy.
I taught her how to knee a boy in the crotch if he tried to hurt her.
I taught her how to stick her thumbs in a man’s eyes if he tried to hold her down.
I taught her to yell, scream, and kick, never-stopping, if a man tried to kidnap her.
Now she’s a young woman and what I have to teach her is this: there will be men with power that will want to kiss you, grab your privates, and rape you. They don’t want or need your permission. And if they are rich, or white, or powerful, (or all three) they can do this and will get away with it. Even their women will protect them.
This is the world we live in. Having celebrity means you can be sexually assaulted. Not only that, but they can do it and then brag about it to the world and a lot of people will not care.
That’s the world we live in.
I told my mother after Trump’s pussy-grabbing audio aired that I was saddened. Not by Trump. I already knew he was a sexist pig. But I couldn’t believe the men that were standing up for him.
My mother said, “I’m sorry. I let you down. I should’ve told you that men have always been like this.”
This is a rape culture we live in. Do not doubt that. I live in a time where my greatest fear in life is that my daughter is going to be sexually assaulted.
If you are a woman, you’ll never be safe. Rapists come in all forms. They are fathers, sons, uncles, baby-sitters, brothers, and sometimes they even run for President.
I joked the other day on FB that Donald Trump is the reason women go to the bathroom in pairs. But it’s not really a joke, is it?
The only thing we can do is unite. Watch out for each other. Help each other. Do not excuse or protect a man who sexually assaults a woman.
Go vote. Vote for a safer tomorrow. Vote with your daughter in mind.