I want to say thanks to Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Both of these men have put a spotlight on women's issues that has never been seen before. This entire election, so far, has had a focus on how Donald Trump and Bill Clinton treat women. It was released that Trump said extremely lewd comments about women. Before the critics come, I am aware Bill Clinton is an accused rapist and also cheated on his wife. But, I mean, basically, that's kind of the point. People are literally fighting over which man (even though Bill can't be president again and Hillary is running) treated women more terribly. People are saying, well Trump isn't so bad since Clinton is a rapist. People are also saying, well Clinton isn't so bad because Trump talks about boob jobs and routinely demeans women and calls them fat pigs.
Nonetheless both of these men have committed despicable acts against women and have done extremely lewd things or have condoned extremely lewd things. But that's why I'm saying thanks. I want to say thanks because Trump showcased the power many assaulters, rapists, and abusers want to have. They want to be able to grope women whenever they want. They want to look down on women. They want to be able to say "I am a famous person and I get all the women I want" and "I can do whatever I want to women". Or, just, you know, they think they deserve it. Trump is reaffirming what every woman's mind already knows - you go into the subway and you get stared at because of the same kind of mindset. You go to a store and you're groped, and no, they didn't just bump into you by accident. You walk home and you're followed, and no, it isn't because he just happens to live in the same area. He took you furniture shopping or out to dinner because, well, he wanted to move on you (actual part of video). He is using breath spray because he might just try to kiss you, and might just not ask. Even just the part of the video when Billy Bush asks if the woman who's met them will hug Donald and him - that reaffirms everything I knew. Predatory men want hugs when you're attractive. It is worth noting however Trump has also been accused of rape and sexual assault.
I guess I want to thank Trump for giving a behind the scenes view of what that mentality looks like. Every woman who has been groped on the subway, followed home, or otherwise gotten unwanted attention may finally feel validated. That she's not crazy, not overthinking it and not paranoid. But I want to thank Clinton too.
This is not a political thing, either. Bill Clinton did it too, he was just more charismatic about it and it's more often ignored. Bill Clinton is an accused rapist for many women. He would bring them into a hotel or private room and assault or rape them. I'm not putting all the details here, all you need to do is Google it. He would force them to touch him. He would force them to commit sex acts or pin them down. He, too, reiterates what every woman already knows - men who have power also try to use you for sex, whether you want it or not. Just look at Bill Cosby. Granted, yes, these acts aren't proven in a court of law, but many of these acts cannot be proven as they are private in nature. It is not often someone is raped in the middle of Times Square at 5 PM. Bill Clinton is a fantastic example of why some women just don't want to be alone with their male bosses. Bill Clinton is a fantastic example of why the glass ceiling and gender divide in certain occupations even exists - because workplace harassment is still a thing, and male bosses in the past placed women in uncomfortable situations. Bill Clinton is a wonderful example of an untouchable man and the very reason why statistics show some women sleep with their bosses to get a promotion. Bill Clinton is what it looks like when a woman is raped or assaulted by a man, "but he's such a good guy".
The fact is, whether it is Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, this election is being highlighted by behavior of men toward women. Whether your focus is Bill Clinton's accused rapes and extra-marital affairs or Donald Trump saying "bleeding out of her wherever", this is the first time in an election cycle where women are being fought over that isn't resembling a romcom movie. Everyone is fighting over who's treated us more collectively awful. That is also fairly appropriate considering that a woman was nominated for president, whether you love her or hate her.
But while everyone is arguing about who's treated us worse, let me just remind you: Don't be like either of them. Let both of them act as the guidelines of how to not act around women, please and thank you. Never have I felt like such an ordinary experience for women came into the spotlight - stuff like being groped and the part where Donald Trump says he doesn't need to ask to kiss a woman. Everyone is shocked and outraged but I can say I have never been on the subway with Donald Trump and I have been groped. I can say I have never been in a store with Donald Trump and I have been followed around. I can say I have never been at work with Donald Trump and I've gotten unwanted attention. Many assault survivors have never been in the room with Bill Clinton, either (thank God for that), but they've been in the room with their own assaulters. They have been silenced and not taken seriously. They haven't reported it, either, because it's too hard to prove and too traumatic of a road to go down. These two men are a symptom of a larger disease that is society's views of women and the power people think they have over them.
If you're outraged by Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, I suggest you watch your own behaviors and try to modify them. If you're outraged by their actions, then please be the change that is necessary. Donald Trump and Bill Clinton aren't the only people condoning these behaviors and you need to get your head out of the dirt if you think they are. There are everyday men (and women, but to a lesser extent) walking around who believe some of these things. They have friends, family, and siblings. While nobody can make someone change their mindset, it is up to the friends, family, and siblings to try to educate them. If you're outraged, educate your brother, father, son, nephew, grandson - whoever - that he shouldn't do this either. Let him know he can't do anything he wants. Let him know he can't grab us wherever he wants. Let him know he can't just kiss us because he feels like it or he can't control himself around women. He can't just rape women because he's powerful and he can't just have an affair because he's powerful. In some circles, if these men were not about to become powerful in this election, this sort of talk would almost certainly be celebrated among men. How do I know this? Just look around the internet. In addition, whenever a rape victim actually reports it and it breaks as a news story, one of the results is hoards of comments of victim blaming.
If you're outraged, stop victim blaming. Stop calling us paranoid. Stop justifying behavior from men you know or are related to because they "seem nice". Stop making sexist jokes. That is not to say all men are predatory - that simply isn't true.
Go against the societal norm. You'd be surprised how many are sexist.