Current Events

I Hit My Breaking Point Tonight

I’ve been a Trump hater since the beginning but today was the first day he made me cry.

I’ve been frustrated almost to the point of tears before while trying to explain why as a woman I could never support him to people who didn’t want to hear but I’ve never totally lost it before.  So why, after all the bullshit he’s said about women and Muslims and Mexicans and LGBT people and everyone other than U.S. born white men did today’s release of the recording of him bragging about grabbing women and kissing them and grabbing the pussy finally break me?

It’s because we’ve all been there.

We all have the stories.  The grabbing, the groping, the men who won’t back off, the ones who feel like they are entitled to any woman’s time and body.  Ask any woman.  Don’t be surprised if she asks you which time you want to know about.

I was living in an apartment complex with a popular bike trail that connected to the parking lot.  I walked out there after classes all the time.   There were always people around.  One day a guy came up behind me and grabbed me.  He kissed me.  When he let me go I did a quick scan.  We were completely alone.  That was really unusual.  He told me that he had been watching me.  I had never seen him before.  I never have the snappy comeback or the instinctive right jab that I should in these situations but I instinctively knew to turn and start walking back to the parking lot.  It wasn’t far.  He walked beside me calmly and asked if I wanted to go out.  I agreed in order to keep things peaceful and friendly since we were still alone.  Then he matter of factly told me that he was married and his wife was pregnant.  He was looking for someone to have sex with until his wife gave birth.  I remember his next words.  “Is that a problem for you?”

I turned and looked at him like he was the biggest idiot ever.  “Yes, that’s a problem!”  That’s when I got huffy.  I was offended on his wife’s behalf.  By then we were in the parking lot.  He let me walk away.  I think he was shocked that I had back talked him about his plan.

But here’s the thing.  Turns out they lived in the apartment above me.  He would stare at me in the parking lot or in the stairways.  He watched me get my mail.  I changed grocery stores because he worked at the one I had been going to.  I rearranged my life to avoid him but it never occurred to me to say anything about it to anyone.  Thinking about it now I really wish I would have gone up there and told his wife what was going on but I don’t think I’d change anything else I did.  What’s the point?  No one would have done anything.  He wasn’t doing anything illegal.

And that’s the point.  We rearrange our lives all the time to avoid these jerks and don’t think anything of it.  It’s just the way it is.

You know how you can always tell if a movie or TV shows was written by a man?  There’s a scene where a woman goes alone to her car in a dark parking lot.  While she walks there, she is fumbling in her oversized bag for her keys.  No, sir!  Never happened.  Ask any woman.  We know if we are going to have to walk into that situation.  We got our keys out when we were in the last secure and well lighted area.  We are holding them tightly in our hands in case we need to use them as a weapon.  If we are able, we remotely unlock the car when we are about 10 steps away.  Not so early that someone could get to it before us but in time for us not have to slow down much to get safely in the car.

We all know that because we are all taught to protect ourselves from men who feel entitled to us.  We are universally taught how to protect ourselves because men aren’t universally taught that we aren’t their property.

So to hear a man bragging about how he grabs women against their will broke me.

And don’t even “Not all men” me.  I know the majority of men are fine.  But let a woman go walking somewhere alone and she’ll be able to tell you the location of every man under the age of 65 within 100 yards of her.  I’ve had a man get within an inch of my face and roar at me.  I’ve been yelled at by a guy in a car while I was in the dog park who wanted to me to watch him masturbate.  These were in the last few years.  Don’t try telling me that it’s a compliment.  I’m in my 40s and believe me, I don’t dress up all pretty to go to the dog park.  I was just the closest female human at the time.

I had my hot bath with a candle and small cry.  Now, I’m more pissed off than anything.  This isn’t locker room talk.  This is bragging about participating in terrorizing an entire gender for our whole lives.   It’s time to call out the supporters of this toxic masculinity.

 

9 Comments

  • Read Diverse Books

    Heather, thank you so much for being honest with your readers and sharing your experiences. I was of course appalled by Trump’s words, his shameless bragging. Like you, I have found him deplorable long before he was a serious contender for high office and am still shocked that we have allowed him to get this far. It demonstrates that the spirit of America is in trouble and it feels like we’re more divided than ever. I’m genuinely scared. But I do think Trump will lose. It’s the fallout of letting him get this far and dividing us that will take a long time to recover from.

  • Wendy Klik

    It boggles my mind how many of my female friends, and even worse, my young adult nieces, are on the Trump bandwagon. I don’t know what to say to these woman who have so little regard of themselves and their genger. Very sad.

    • heather

      I see so many women spinning this by saying that people are upset about some dirty words like that is the issue. The issue is the total lack of regard for other people. Being President is all about taking care of other people. Anyone who doesn’t see that shouldn’t be in the job.

  • Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    This post is amazing and so freaking true. I am sorry you have gone through this, and I am even MORE sorry that I bet everyone reading this has too. It breaks my heart that ANYONE in our country is willing to defend someone who would treat a woman like this- and of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg with Trump. I am so angry, angry that my daughter lives in a society where close to HALF THE PEOPLE think this is okay. That my son is growing up with guys who will not be taught that women aren’t objects, that men aren’t allowed to behave like that. What is wrong with this culture? How is being hateful a ticket to becoming a candidate for leader of the free world? How can people choose hate!? Not even turn a blind eye- outright ENCOURAGE it? I will never in my life understand how people can think it is okay to oppress ANY group of people, and for that I am glad. I don’t want to understand these people. But I also wish I knew how to open their eyes. Violence against women is never okay. Hate, racism, bigotry, and violence against ANY minority group is NEVER OKAY.

    I wish I knew how to stop it. Your words go a long way. I just hope there are enough people on the side of good, on the side of humanity, on the side of hope for the future to negate the barbarism and vitriol that has been spewed by this sorry excuse of a man. Wonderfully written, Heather!

    • heather

      There are so many people who think that it isn’t important because it isn’t actual rape. They don’t understand that it is still a problem.

  • rudejasper

    Thanks for speaking out and letting out your frustration about this! I hear you! He is loathsome and dangerous and I can’t believe there is any person, much less a woman who thinks he would make an appropriate leader for our country. The fact that there are thousands of such people makes me unspeakably sad.

    • heather

      So many people have justified it to themselves by saying that he isn’t polished or that’s how everyone talks. I’m so glad I don’t live in their world with their friends. I’ve been muting people on Facebook like crazy recently because so many are still defending him.

  • victoriansoul

    Brava! I hate that these were your experiences, but I loathe the entire Trump character (I’m not so sure that I consider him a person… he’s more an entity). While I have been sheltered from some experiences due to my reclusive tendencies, I’ll never forget the first time I had some creep ogle my chest (and I was wearing “normal” clothes) when I was 14. And having random men stalk me in a variety of locations (grocery stores, schools). And being told I have a “nice ass” by a random boychild climbing the stairs behind me during my brief stint in high school. That’s just off the top of my head.
    The Trump has disgusted me since the first days of his campaign, and I can scarcely think of a worse candidate for president.
    ~ Litha Nelle

    • heather

      Amen! I can’t understand why people have been supporting him for so long. Ok, that’s not true. I know way too many people who think just like him. That’s why. I just wish it wasn’t true.

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