You Shouldn't Laugh At Sexual Assault Survivors, Especially If You're The President Of The United States

You Shouldn't Laugh At Sexual Assault Survivors, Especially If You're The President Of The United States

Just spitballing here, just an idea: don't do that.

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Watching the daily news in America has become something akin to watching a reality show. Everything that happens is outrageous and unpredictable and, admittedly, a little comical in the darkest of ways. It is painful when it really sinks in that this is all happening for real. A Supreme Court nominee has been accused of repeated sexual assault, resulting in one of the women he attacked testifying before the entire country, and our president laughed about it. Publicly, and encouraging a whole room of individuals to laugh at a woman whose pain and bravery are both clearly profound.

It seems, from this and the fact that it looks like Brett Kavanaugh is still going to get confirmed despite proving himself to be hysterical under pressure (and yes, I chose that word carefully), I thought it would be best to clearly explain the reasons why no one should laugh at sexual assault survivors, especially if you're the President of the United States.

Donald Trump has been accused of assaulting 13 different women, at least

Oh, do you think because he was elected we all just forgot about this? Clearly, that's the objective because allegations like this can be just so inconvenient!

The most disturbing thing I've seen in the past two years (at this very moment, obviously) is the number of women speaking out against other women speaking out about Trump (i.e. women defending Trump and now Kavanaugh despite their clear misogynistic tendencies and outlooks). My problem with this demographic expands to two more points on this list but is simply this: I don't think it's fair to expect women to like and support all other women purely on the basis of a shared sex. I don't think women all need to agree with one another and be all kumbaya sisterhood every day with everyone.

But I also don't think issues such as sexual assault should be politicized like everything else seems to be in America today. There needs to be some support, especially support across party lines, between women in the face of sexual assault. We all lose when we defend predators over one another due to political affiliation. We all lose when we ignore that the fact that there is a sexual predator in the White House and defend him due to political affiliation.

The midterms are coming, though, and the women who feel comfortable with these men running our country are not the ones eager to get to the polls to change the tide.

The "boys will be boys" thing has got to go

Lindsey Graham has been quoted theorizing as to why women would keep going to parties if they had seen what Julie Swetnick has alleged to have seen, and why instead they didn't just go to the cops. "Normal people would feel an obligation to do something about it" is a fancy way of saying "let's put the blame back onto survivors and female witnesses instead of acknowledging that something traumatizing- and worse yet, a traumatizing pattern- regarding this particular Supreme Court Nominee is becoming more and more clear with each passing day."

Graham's comments and so many others are just another form of slut-shaming and survivor blaming, as it promotes this idea that the survivors or bystanders are responsible for Kavanaugh's actions, not he himself. The notion that assault isn't an attacker's fault or forgiving it with "boys will be boys" just doesn't make sense and it's excused illogical and illegal for too long.

The idea that sexual predators are not responsible for attacking is the moral equivalent of the statement "sharks aren't responsible for eating fish" (and the converse: fish are responsible for being eaten). If you can't see based on that statement how the former is also wrong, maybe you're not mentally fit to be president of the United States.

Midterms are coming

The immediate backlash to Senator Susan Collins's decision to vote yes to confirm Kavanaugh has set a lot of wheels in motion. The midterms are coming up in less than a month and the backlash to literally everything that happens in the country has created a call for change, overhauling and lasting change.

Rather than picking at the raw nerve that is the general relationship between the two political parties in America, Trump and his supporters should not actively try to anger their opposition literally right before their jobs are placed on the line.

(Sidebar in regards to Collins, what I mentioned earlier comes in to play: I read an article that she was under particular pressure to vote a certain way just because of her gender, and while usually headlines like that evoke an eye roll due to their naivety in regards to gender roles and relationships, this time it made me think. While I'm not saying politicians have an obligation to vote a certain way because of their gender if it goes against what they fundamentally believe, I'm also not saying that politicians have an obligation to vote solely according to their party.)

Being a good person shouldn't be a political issue

Everything in America seems to be divided by political affiliation these days, including basic human decency apparently. Having basic respect for other human beings, for human suffering, shouldn't be up for debate or discussion, nor should believing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford be a strictly Democratic thing.

I really don't know how much more I can say about this.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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