Again and again over the last few days, I have watched as both men and women, Republican and Democrat, have questioned the veracity of the women who are stepping forward to say they have been assaulted by Donald Trump.
Of course, his reaction is to threaten to sue everybody and everything in sight to protect his reputation.
Well, here’s the thing. He is on tape bragging about assaulting women. It was not locker room talk because they weren’t in a locker room still hyped up by athletic competition. They were on a bus.
He thought it was fine to offer his permission to a radio shock jock to refer to his daughter as “a piece of ass.” In fact, he has said repeatedly that he would “date” her if she weren’t his daughter.
That’s the kind of respect he offers his own daughter. Do you really think he has any respect at all for other women?
Contestants in his beauty pageant have said he walked into their dressing rooms while they were naked. He has unwittingly backed up their complaints by bragging about doing it.
He is a very powerful and wealthy man, and he can ruin any woman who crosses him. He is also vindictive enough to do it. I certainly would be afraid to come out and talk about being assaulted by such a man.
Remember Anita Hill? She had no reason to come out and have her career ruined by testifying against a man who sexually harassed her. And when she did, she was destroyed.
I believed her then and I still believe her.
It starts when we’re little girls, being told we have to give people hugs and kisses as though our bodies don’t belong to us.
And when men do things to us, we know nobody is going to believe it.
I was 3 when my grandfather started molesting me. It continued until I was 11. I told no one because I knew nobody would believe me. My grandfather was a school custodian and crossing guard and a church sexton. Everybody loved him. There was no way anybody was going to believe me.
So I accepted the quarters, the hush money, as it were.
In fact, I didn’t say a word until I was in my early 30s and my sister asked me about it.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“He tried it with me and I told him to stop,” she said. “So he told me you let him. I never did.”
She didn’t tell anyone, either because she knew she wouldn’t be believed and that I probably would get in trouble.
That reluctance to speak out doesn’t go away as we grow up.
Think about this: The conviction rate for rape is 6 percent. Do you really think 94 percent of men accused of rape are innocent? I don’t.
Women are blamed for sexual assault all the time.
She shouldn’t have gone out for a drink with him after work.
She shouldn’t have stayed late at work to finish up a project.
She shouldn’t have gone to a nightclub alone.
She shouldn’t have walked out on the street alone, worn that dress, those shoes.
She shouldn’t have laughed at his jokes.
She shouldn’t have let him kiss her goodnight or allowed him to walk inside her house, or gone to his place, or allowed him to give her a ride home.
In the conservative Christian tradition, women are all guilty of Original Sin, which is, as we all know, sex. We are temptresses, every last one of us. That’s why we can’t have leadership roles. We can’t be trusted not to tempt men.
When a pastor in my childhood church had an affair with a teenage girl, it was kept very quiet and he resigned.
Was he charged with a crime? No. He was allowed to go on his way and the teenage girl was told to keep it quiet.
Catholic priests aren’t the only ones who violate children.
When a girl grows up knowing that any sexual assault is her fault and that she’ll be the one blamed if she says anything — and then that’s exactly what happens — she learns to keep her mouth shut.
These 10 women who have come forward with allegations about Trump assaulting them are telling the truth. I would bet my life on it.
Trump can bluster and steam all he wants. I know better, and so should you.
When you question their stories, you question mine. When you blame them, you blame me.
I will not sit still and allow that to happen any longer.