Yesterday, a video of Donald Trump bragging about grabbing women by the vagina and kissing them without asking their permission was revealed by the Washington Post. Many of us are horrified—but not surprised. Trump has already made it clear that he does not respect women.
What is earth-shattering is the fact that girls and women experience this behavior—which is sexual assault, no matter what Trump calls it—every day.
Yesterday, writer Kelly Oxford encouraged women to tweet their first sexual assaults. The response is crushing:
When I was five years old, in kindergarten, I overheard an eighth grader tell my classmate to “grab my ass.” I’ll never forget it. Like Emily, I don’t remember what happened next, and it really doesn’t matter: The world stops turning once the fear sets in and a young girl is disabused of her right to feel safe in the world.
In an apology video that Trump released, he states: “Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world, and this is nothing more than a distraction.”
But in the real world, a quarter of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18 (pdf). According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes.
So you know what would make America great again? Acknowledging that when our girls and mothers and sisters and aunts and friends are assaulted, we are all under threat.