Two Terms of Hope and Change Comes to an End

Exactly eight years ago today, November 9th, I arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan.  It was the first day of my first trip to a country where I have worked as an activist and ‘humanitarian’ ever since.  Exactly eight years today.  I flew to Afghanistan the day of the elections in 2008, and  I watched anxiously as some of the early results came in during my layover in Dubai.  I arrived in Kabul, bleary eyed and jet lagged, to hear the words, “Hello, Shannon. Welcome to Kabul.  Barack Obama is your new President.”

I nearly hugged the slight, bespectacled, Afghan man who spoke those words.  Najibullah was holding a sign that read “Shanon Galpin” in the meeting area of the old Kabul terminal.  A hug, of course, would have been the worst possible thing I could have done in a crowd of Afghan men for Najibullah’s reputation, and my own.  I restrained myself, instead looked over at my friend and photographer, Tony Di Zinno, and grinned.  I couldn’t hug him in public either.  He grinned back and said something about ‘auspicious signs’.   This was everything.  I had arrived in Afghanistan to start my work at the same time that Americans historically voted for our first black President.  A man whose campaign was based on ‘Hope and Change’.  A man, who over the next eight years would exemplify the best of humanity in the highest political office. But for now, in this moment, I simply agreed with Tony’s assessment of an auspicious omen in which to begin my journey down a path that was also firmly rooted in the belief that hope leads to change,  if backed up with a boatload of grit and determination.

Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I am NOT comparing myself to President Obama.  I am simply reflecting that the time period that bookends his two terms of office is now also bookending my own work in Afghanistan.  Because after eight years, multiple humanitarian projects and collaboration, soul-crushing fundraising and outreach, a groundbreaking street art installation, two books, a shit ton of corruption, two recent brain injuries, and a historic series of mountain bike rides, I am ready to ‘leave office’.  I cannot envision a third term, even though I am free to take one and desperately wish Obama could too.

I have been struggling with this for the past year.  I was admitted to the ICU in 2015 with a blood clot in my brain.  I worked through recovery, supported my ongoing work with the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team from my home in Colorado until I was allowed to go back there in May.  Yet while I was there, everything I had been working towards for the past three and a half years with the team was crumbling.  Corruption, dysfunction, and increased security risks were overwhelming and disheartening.  Amidst several suicide bombings in the capital, increased control by the Taliban, and the emergence of ISIS in two provinces, I saw a country reeling with an exodus of NGO’s, media, aid workers, and Afghan citizens and a dysfunction stemming from the power sharing agreement that has led to effectively two heads of state; Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.  This has rippled down the food chain in bizarre but not unexpected ways.  I met colleagues that talked about meeting with two governors in a province, two Ministers for the same office.  There were two official Afghan Olympic Committees operating (not legal by IOC standards).  There were also two Afghan Cycling Federations (also not legal by UCI standards).  There was corruption so blatant and vile that I spoke openly about it with the New York Times for a piece about the women’s sports federations and corruption.  This increased the risk against me personally, calling people out for illegal and corrupt behavior rarely wins you friends.  All this while I was emerging from eight months of brain recovery.  I came home and wanted nothing more than a lobotomy.

Six days later, my mother passed away.  Two months later and I was back in the ICU with a second brain injury.

I am now nine weeks out of the ICU and freshly back from unplanned trips to Denver and NYC to organize two Pussy Grabs Back Protests in the wake of Trump’s continued brush aside of rape culture in our public discourse.  I wrote blogs about rape culture and locker room talk, and engaged on a soulless social media experiment on trolling. I’m tired. I don’t have a third term in me.  I have reflected on what I have accomplished in eight years ‘of office’.  I see what Obama has accomplished in his. He wins. No question.

But eight years is an unusual timeframe to reflect upon my work in Afghanistan and what’s ahead. Because after eight hard, dangerous, corruption filled years in Afghanistan, I still believe hope and change are possible.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve seen it over shared meals with female members of Parliament discussing their role in the future of their country.  I’ve seen it on the streets when women marched against street harassment and gender violence, despite the rocks that were thrown at them.  I’ve seen it with the emergence of Afghanistan’s street art scene, giving voice to the youth that believe their have a voice.  I’ve witnessed it when the first girls to ever ride bikes in Afghanistan conquered the last taboo and inspired other girls to grab their freedom.

Here in the US, I’ve witnessed it with President Obama supporting gay marriage and repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ putting LGBT rights front and center with our nation’s idea of equality. His stimulus plan prevented a second great depression and turned our economy around. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Passed universal health care reform. He ended the war in Iraq and drew down in Afghanistan. He expanded wilderness protection, and supported the Paris Agreements on climate change.  I could go on, but you can google his long list of progressive accomplishments.  He did this despite an intransigent and obstructionist GOP and amidst constant attacks on his legitimacy as President, most of it coming from our now President Elect Trump.

More than that what he accomplished… he inspired our country.  He showed that this country is indeed open for all who dare to dream, that America was no longer a country solely controlled by white men.  He showed that while racism still exists, a black man with a Muslim sounding name could become President.  That he could weather the continuous onslaught of racial slurs and birther conspiracies with dignity.  He and Michelle have brought grace, humor, joy, and some killer dance moves into the office.

He did all this with hope and change.  Not because hoping for something gets shit down, but because if you dare to believe that hope is stronger than fear, that equality and justice is possible, and then you fight for it with your actions, change will occur.  The fight is worth fighting and that fight doesn’t happen without hope.  Hope that we can address the wrongs of those that came before us. Hope that the future can be remade in the image of our diversity.  Hope that equality and social justice will prevail and build a foundation for future generations over a history of racism and sexism.   I believe in hope, and I believe in Obama.

Today I woke to the news that the nightmare we all watched unfold last night was indeed our new reality; Donald Trump is our new President Elect.  Eight years of progressive policy and a scandal free Presidency by our first black President ends with our country electing a racist, sexist, bigot with no governing or military experience?  How the fuck did this happen?

I listened to Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, and then Obama’s speech 30 minutes later on NPR as I drove to the airport this morning. Both were dignified, respectful, and called on us all to take the high ground and peacefully begin the transition of power to the democratically elected President Elect.  Yet there is a subtle call to action underneath the peacemaking; justice and equality must not be pushed aside, no matter who is the leader of our country.  We must unite in keen opposition, activism, and protest to ensure that the fight for  e quality and justice does not get sidelined.  That women’s rights, LGBT rights, civil rights, indigenous rights, and environmental rights do not get trampled or ignored.  This is still a fight worth fighting, we cannot abandon hope.

For the past eight years, I’ve fought for women’s rights and girls’ empowerment in a war zone.  I’ve fought to build awareness of gender violence at home and abroad.  The more I work in Afghanistan, the more I see the work we need to do back home.  We are more similar than we care to admit.  Our country was founded on the words of equality and justice.  Many of us would argue that words do not make it so.  Women, particularly women of color, black men, native americans, hispanics, and specifically targeted in this election cycle as our latest ‘demon’, Muslims, are all too aware that equality and justice are not evenly dispensed, despite what the words on our Bill of Rights may state as our founding ideals.  My work was in a country repeatedly ranked the worst country in the world to be a woman.  What does it say about our country when I realize that I need to work here more than ‘over there’.

White men, and far too many white women, voted for white supremacy, sexual assault, ignorance, and racism yesterday.  I heard family members talk about a return to the ‘way things were’ when they were growing up.  Yes, for many white middle class American men and women, the 1950’s were probably idyllic.  You were born in a period of prosperity and white privilege.  Congratulations white men in America, you won the human lottery.  White men wrote the rules that this country was founded on, they oppressed and subjugated other men to build this country while maintaining a status quo that kept women and people of color as second class citizens, and they have proven that they won’t give that power up easily.  Not to a black man, no matter how good a leader he proves himself to be.  Not to a woman, no matter how qualified she is.  Instead…we elect a man whose best known for beauty pageants, dodgy real estate deals, bankruptcies, and a reality tv show.  But he’s white, and he’ll protect you from the bogeyman that he, himself, along with the media circus, created.

Two terms. Eight years.  I’m exhausted.  I’m sure everyone is.  The progress made in Afghanistan is at risk of a corrupt government and increased violence.  The progress made here in the United States is at risk under a Trump presidency and Republican led Senate.  He has campaigned on the platform of rolling back much of Obama’s key legislation. He is a serial liar. He has threatened to jail his opponent.  The future of the Supreme Court is on the line.  The future of my daughter is on the line.  My 11-year-old went to bed truly fearful of a Trump win.  She has watched the debates.  She understands at age eleven that debate is about respect and discourse; interrupting is rude and bullying is wrong.  She has heard him in his own words talk about grabbing women by the pussy, and she understands that the principals of consent are key to women’s rights and to her safety.   She went to bed after she wrote a list of all the uncounted states left and their electoral votes, believing there was still a chance of a Clinton win.  I dreaded waking her up this morning for school. As I climbed into bed with her to give her a cuddle, she immediately asked me sleepily, “who won?”  To which I replied, “Trump did, but it’s going to be okay.”  Because I want to believe it will be.  Over breakfast we talked about democratic process and the words we use going forward.  We can be disappointed, sad, and even angry, but we must follow Obama’s lead and take the high road.  We talked about bullying, sexism, and racism.  But how do you explain to a sixth grader that a bully, a man that demeans women, that calls Mexicans rapists (she goes to a bi-lingual school with 50% hispanics) can be elected to lead our country?  You can’t.  You just have to hug it out and continue to talk through it, openly and honestly.

Many of us have said publicly that no matter who wins we have exposed the sexism and racism fault lines that exist in this country.  We knew they were there, but they are deeper than many of us realized.  So no matter who won, we knew that today, November 9th, we had to continue to work for social justice.  Women’s rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, and indigenous rights.  The work is right here in our backyard.

So today, as I sit on the airplane, insulated from my twitter feed and the media’s breakdown of this election result, I allow myself to be sad. I allow myself to feel depressed.  I need the quiet and the dark.  I need to be cut off from my phone.  I need to mourn the fact that the country I thought I had a voice in, the country that sets itself up as the standard bearer for equality, is much further behind than I thought.  Eight years of an Obama presidency made me believe that we were on the right path, occasionally stumbling, but generally headed forward in the right direction as a nation.  It was something we could continue to build on.

Now I feel different.  Racial inequity, sexism, misogyny, gender violence, rampant homophobia, and religious intolerance are our country’s reality.  Unless we all get back to work, building coalitions, and fighting the good fight together, arm in arm.  So let’s hug it out.  Let’s take a moment, or two, or maybe even three, to hibernate and grieve the state of our nation.  Then let’s dig deep, and unite together to continue the fight.  Because sexism and racism are not measured by election cycles.  We have work to do.  We have to protect Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood, and women’s right to choose.  We have to fight DAPL.  We have to make sure the Paris Agreement on climate change isn’t ignored.  We have to continue the civil rights movement that didn’t end with Martin Luther King Jr. or with Barack Obama, and so we must support Black Lives Matter.  We must protest.  We must organize.  We must believe in hope and work for change.  Our voices need to be louder than ever before, because our voices need to drown out the dying gasp of white male privilege.

So yeah, fuck these guys.  Let’s get back to work.  See you on the front line.  Midterms are in two years.  Let’s make some noise.

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Social Experiment Proves Rape Culture Point

I decided to run an informal social experiment last Friday.  I wrote a post about locker room talk and excusing rape culture on my blog as a way to discuss the difference between sex talk and assault talk and how we as a society are contributing to the prevalence of rape culture when we don’t understand the difference.  I have been very public about my rape both in public speaking, my activism, and in my memoir, Mountain to Mountain, in which I describe in graphic detail the night I was violently raped and nearly killed walking home from work in Minneapolis at age 18.

What I haven’t talked about is all the micro-agressions that I have lived with as a woman, essentially starting in high school.  My accounting teacher got my number and started calling me after graduation, telling me how great my ass looked in my leggings, and how he wished I was sitting in front of him so he could “play with my titties”.  I was 18, he was in his 40’s.  When I was in my 20’s, I cannot count the number of times that strangers tried to slide their hands up my skirt or down my pants in crowded public spaces, or the countless times someone grabbed my ass as I leaned over the bar to shout my drink order to a bartender.

I’m a strong woman, I have worked in male dominated arenas my entire adult life; initially starting out in the outdoor industry as a guide, then a decade as a sports conditioning specialist with predominately male athletes like rugby and soccer players, and the ultimate of male dominated societies, nearly a decade of working in Afghanistan.  I know the difference between sex talk and assault talk.  Do you?

My point is and always has been consent is the backbone of the discussion and that if you excuse talk about harassment and assault, you are condoning it.  You, my friend, are intentionally or unintentionally part of our rape culture.

Here’s the problem.  Maybe you simply don’t understand what rape culture is? Let’s look at this pyramid for more clarity.

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The obvious understanding of rape culture is the top of the pyramid: explicit violence in the form of rape, incest, murder, and battery. I’d like to think this is generally understood  and that we consider rape and assault what it is – a crime.  But the most recent of several high profile rape cases is Stanford swimmer golden boy, Brock Turner, who was caught sexually assaulting an unconscious fellow college student in the street. He was caught in the act so there is no ambiguity of the he said/she said argument often used in rape cases. Yet even though Turner admitted guilt facing up to 14 years in prison, the judge reduced his sentence so that Turner only served 3 months in prison because Judge Perskey believed a tougher penalty would have a “severe impact” on Turner.  For assaulting an unconscious girl.  This is sadly, not unusual.  Ninety percent of the time rapists get away with rape.  Too often the victims in the United States are treated no better than the victims of rape I meet in Afghanistan, and for the same reason, the men’s lives must not be destroyed by one ‘mistake’, or as Brock Turner’s dad stated in court, “20 minutes of action”.  That’s 20 minutes of taking an active part in a violent felony crime.  You don’t get to walk that back.  Because the victim?  Her life is forever changed by your actions.  All of us who have survived are irrevocably changed but few of us are as eloquent and powerful as Turner’s victim whose open letter to him went viral.

It’s the bottom of this pyramid that bothers me most.  This is where things get confusing it seems.  Although for most women, this is our daily reality.  The fact is rape culture STARTS with victimization; “boys will be boys”, rape jokes, non-consensual photography, homophobia and transphobia, victim blaming.  See that last one?  Victim blaming.  THIS IS WHY WOMEN DON’T REPORT.  Every time we do, the media tears the victims apart; Why did these women wait so long to come out?  They must be lying. If he really did it they would have come forward.   The public automatically assumes that if a woman accuses a man of rape there is an implicit nod of deception, because rape isn’t a ‘real’ crime.  It’s too ambiguous.  Want proof? The three most popular excuses for rape are:

She’s lying.  Even police officers too often take it for granted that the woman is lying about being raped.  Yet the irony is that 80% of women never come forward about their assault.  False rape claims are proven to be between 2 and 10% the same as false claims about all other serious crimes.

She was wearing something provocative.  Right, because women wearing baggy jeans and sweatshirts don’t get raped?

She was drinking too much. Being drunk isn’t a open invitation to have sex. Neither is being unconscious.  Remember that pesky little word, consent?  Hard to give consent if you’re unconscious.

Which leads us to Bill Cosby and the victim blame game. Bill Cosby raped over 30 women, consent was never an issue because he systematically drugged them first.  It took decades before the women came forward, and when they did, as expected the first ones were vilified in the media. Liars. Golddiggers. Opportunists.  Once that number climbed into double digits, everyone paused; Maybe they’re telling the truth?  Now that that number is over 30 it is generally accepted that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist.  It shouldn’t take 30 women to prove that. It shouldn’t take two.

Let’s get back to the bottom two rungs of the pyramid.  Because the theme of my prior blog was that words matter.  Donald Trump told Howard Stern when he was a guest on his radio show that it was okay for him to call his daughter Ivanka Trump a “piece of ass.”  Is that a crime? No. It’s on the bottom two rungs of the pyramid, it’s ‘just words’.  I cannot imagine my father calling me a hot piece of ass, much less condoning another man to do so on a popular radio program.

The tape of Trump talking about his right to kiss women without consent and that being a celebrity means he can just ‘grab them by the pussy’ outraged many, but not enough to condemn him for contributing to rape culture.  Because that is what his words are.  When I heard that tape, I felt every man that grabbed my ass, my pussy, my breasts in a public setting without consent, the men who think it’s okay to dry hump up against me in a crowded bar, and the man who raped me  at knifepoint get a free pass.  Because their actions started with the normalization of the bottom two rungs of the pyramid.  That is rape culture.  That is why words matter.

I know many kind, respectful, fabulous men who would never engage in that language, or that behavior.  They are my family members, they are my friends, they are my colleagues.  My male friends and colleagues are diverse in geographic location, nationality, color, faith, sexuality, and income.   They are the ones that need to recognize if they don’t already, that the everyday assaults that the women they love, work with, and are friends with go through is systemic and all too normal.

As members of my own family and extended social media community excuse Trump’s words and behavior as unimportant to this election, I find that the main argument isn’t that it’s right, it’s just that “Hilary and Bill are worse”.  Thereby ignoring the issue I’m talking about, the importance of recognizing rape culture when we hear it and when we see it.  At a time where my social media feed is filling up with twitter hashtags like #WhyWomenDontReport and women coming out about their own sexual assaults through blog posts and social media in an effort to illustrate how many women go through this.  1 in 3.  Somehow that doesn’t sink in that this means out of your own friends and family, that the 1 in 3 rate applies.  Look around your office or coffeeshop right now, count how many women there are and divide by 3.

I was curious how people who had no connection to me would respond to my blog post, so I reposted it to my public page and then I paid Facebook to sponsor the post.  Anyone can do this if they choose to.  I was simply curious how that works and would that expose the conversation to people outside of my circle that care about the issue like I do?  I clicked on the blue bottom “BOOST POST” underneath my post, and paid $25 for three days of promotion. Boom!  I sponsored my post as a Facebook ad and waited to see where the post went.

Here’s what I posted.

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The responses that came in were incredible.  People commented directly on the Facebook post, some sent me their thoughts in direct messages, and others hit on my actual blog comment section.   I expected to reach people that like me, wanted to discuss the distinction between locker room talk and rape culture.  Instead I got hate, insults, threats, and off topic political rants.  I believe that people forget that when they are commenting, or trolling in this case, that they are commenting in the public sphere to real people.  Perhaps they think that  their mudslinging isn’t visible.  So let’s look at what a few of them had to say and let’s not let them hide behind their words.  Here are a few of the folks that commented not the worst of the bunch, but certainly the most vocal with multiple posts and responses. The full assortment is in the comments underneath my Facebook post.  Feel free to find them on Facebook, their name and profile photo are attached to every comment they made, and feel free to message them your thoughts as they so freely gave me theirs.

 

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Then of course, it got political because I was talking about Trump, so therefore we must make this political and point fingers rather than simply acknowledging that what Trump has said, or done, is rape culture.  I believe my original post if you read it was thoughtful, respectful, and so were my comments to the few posts I engaged back with.  Yet out of the gates, it’s immediate insults, hateful commentary, the worst of which I have not included.  Needless to say it involves several iterations of filling my stupid mouth with numerous dicks to shut me up.

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“Women are not angels”  Thank you Patricia Rothenbucher for that insight.  I am getting my ‘women in line’ so that we can start ‘behaving in a ladylike manner.”  Case in point, an upcoming series of protests we’re organizing with the theme of Pussy Grabs Back.  New York City on October 29th for those of you that want to join.  I hope that’s ladylike enough for you.

You’re right, I’m am very sheltered, having lived and worked nearly half of my life abroad, working nearly 10 years of it in a war zone.  I have spoken at the Italian Parliament, in three TED talks, at the Harvard Club, on panels at universities and summits, and numerous other places about my work and gender violence.  I have worked with US and European survivors and with Afghan women who are in jail for the crime of ‘adultery’ as an excuse for rape.  But that shouldn’t matter.  Even if I was sheltered, that doesn’t make my call for better awareness and accountability of rape culture any less true.  You don’t get to write off a woman or man who lives in their hometown and has perhaps never traveled outside of their home state as irrelevant to this discussion.

You see, making this into a political argument or pointing fingers at the other candidates, rap music, and Islam (all of which my ‘thoughtful’ commentators did, you can see the post and all the commentary on my public Facebook page, minus a few of the violent threatening comments that I deleted) and calling the women that are accusing Trump of assault and harassment liars because they didn’t come forward before, simply proves my point.  Rape culture is so prevalent we are desensitized to it. When you ignore it, brush it off, or excuse it, you are complicit.  You are condoning behavior when you excuse the words about the behavior.

So everyone, repeat after me:

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Pussy Grabs Back

Ladies, its time to wear your words.

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Donald Trump and his supporters think that words don’t matter.  That words are just words and can be easily forgotten.  That bragging sex talk is the same as sexual assault talk.  That women can just be ‘grabbed by their pussies’.

It’s time to fight back.  I am choosing to write about it, tweet, and engage my family members that support Trump.  But words do matter and so do actions. Trumps are appalling,  but when we talk action Pence is a quiet offender which is even worse, than Trump.  Because me and my pussy need Planned Parenthood, and birth control, and the Constitution ensures my right to choose what to do with my own body. Pence has been on a one-man crusade to defund Planned Parenthood, roll back access to abortions, and has even said he would consider jail for women that have had abortions.  The 2nd amendment is untouchable for the gun owners petrified Clinton is coming for their guns, but the 14th isn’t?  So says Pence every time he lobbies, votes, and legislates against women.

My pussy also deserves equal pay for equal work by men.  Pence has voted AGAINST equal pay measures THREE times.

Now we see Trump supporters calling for a recall of the 19th amendment that gives women equality and the right to vote?  This is beyond incredible.  What country am I living in?  What country is my daughter going to inherit?  I guess its 1920 and I have to march in the streets to fight for my equality?

So Pussy is fighting back.  I just ordered this t-shirt from the incredible team at Female Collective and plan to wear it every goddamn day till Nov. 9th.

So ladies, words matter.  No one is grabbing my pussy without my consent.  I’m fighting back every day in little ways.  I ordered the tshirt, so can you. Wear it every goddamn day. And on November 8th, I’m voting with my pussy. Vote with yours.

#PussyGrabsBack

#ImWithHer

Sexual Assault Isn’t Locker Room Talk

Enough already.

My heart hurts.  My soul hurts.

Several weeks have gone by now, and I’ve been listening to the media and even close family members excuse away Trump’s behavior on a number of issues that blow my mind. But now we have a new phrase; the ‘locker room’ excuse, in response to his words on a leaked tape. Grabbing pussy and forcing himself on women? Classy, just the sort of talk I know I want to hear from the future leader of my country.

This is just one more excuse in a long line of a very public and systemic attack against women that goes back decades.  Whether it’s judging women’s appearance either by insisting that we aren’t beautiful enough for his high standards, or we have gotten too fat, or by simply lying about non existent sex tapes to humiliate a woman he’s previously insulted via an uncontrollable 3am twitter rant.  Trump has a nasty habit of publicly calling women “pigs, slobs, and dogs”.  He insulted and bullied journalist Megyn Kelly after the debate she moderated for having the audacity to ask him to defend his own words.  His lowest low, he used menstruation as an insult to a woman that was doing her job.

This isn’t new.  He has spent his life, much of it public and on record, objectifying and debasing women, including one my favorite lines, “Women, you have to treat ‘em like shit.” Yeah, we love that.

Here’s the thing though, this isn’t ‘locker room’ talk.  This isn’t dirty talk between guys and this isn’t talking about sex. This isn’t the way normal guys talk about women, or dating, or sex. Just look at the number of professional athletes who hang out in locker rooms fairly regularly who have bashed the media calling this locker room talk.  Men are appalled by Trump’s words.  Appalled that their daughters would be talked to like that.  This kind of talk that Trump is shrugging off, and the media and many of you are letting him shrug off, is talk about sexual assault.  Forcing yourself upon women unasked.  This is lack of consent.

 

 

When you explain this away as a non-issue in the media and public discourse, you need to remember that our sons and daughters are watching.  At a time where college and high school sexual assault is off the chart, nearing an epidemic on our campus.  In a country where one in three women are sexually assaulted.  This isn’t something we can be making excuses for ever.  Those of us who have been raped, sexually assaulted, or sexually harassed are fighting tooth and nail to discuss consent in real ways with young men BEFORE they assault women.  1 in 3 women – that means you know at least one woman who has endured the crime of sexual assault.  Who has not given consent.  Who has lain there wondering, “why me?” as your life is ripped apart by a man who felt it was his right to take what he wanted.  If you’re in my family you know at least two.  Probably more.

You cannot excuse this away.  His entire campaign, his entire life, he has shown his true colors.  You just don’t seem to care.  Why? As Maya Angelou said so succinctly, “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

Why don’t we believe him when he says what he says over and over and over again, in public, on tape, on tv, in debates, on twitter?  Is it the same reason that when over thirty women accused Bill Cosby of rape that you didn’t believe them. Because Bill Cosby was on our tv and we thought we knew him like a real family member? The only difference is, Bill Cosby hid his predatory history.  Trump’s is front and center and bragging on tape.

And he still has your vote?

Abusive language, predatory talk, do not automatically make a man a rapist.  Just a misogynist that has no right to hold public office of any kind.

This is a man whose own wife accused him of rape under oath.  There are multiple cases filed against him for sexual assault harassment.  MULTIPLE. Google it, its all there, recently reported on and fact checked.  I’m not going to waste my time delving into it all, you can easily find out all you need to.  It pains me to tell you to dig into other victim’s lives in order to prove to you that Trump is a predator, a misogynist, and wholly unqualified to be a leader.  I shouldn’t have to.  His own words should be enough prove.

No woman should be talked about the way Trump talks about women.  It’s vile, grotesque, and cannot be allowed to go unchecked.  It’s misogyny. It’s rape culture.
Thank you for the men that speak out against him and other men like him.  Thank you for the women that are coming forward to give a face and a story to show Americans what the ramifications of rape culture actually are.  Thank you for shows like The Daily Show that don’t allow ‘locker room talk’ to be an excuse for predatory behavior.
#pussygrabsback
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