Okay, it's International Women's Day and we have a lot to celebrate. I mean, look at us, marching, standing up to those who might oppress us. You go, girrrls! We will continue to fight for equal pay for equal work around the globe. We will continue to fight for control of our own bodies. We will fight for access to healthcare and birth control. We will continue to stand tall and raise our voices to be recognized for our contributions to society.
Wait! ... What?
Aren't these the same fights women have been having for generations? Granted we've made some strides, but why are we still having to fight these same battles repeatedly? I don't have an answer to this question. I'm sure there isn't just one answer, but rather a combination of factors that come into play.
I can't help but to think today, as I contemplate influential women in my life and in the world, in general, that it feels a bit hypocritical to sing the praises of women, while ignoring the ugly orange elephant in the room. You all know who I'm talking about. A profoundly unqualified man who boasted about sexual assault on women somehow was placed in the office of the US presidency, beating out an extremely qualified woman. (who DID win the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.)
Seriously, how did he get away with these words, " I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden, I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
He finally ended his Hollywood Access hot mike comments with this little gem, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."
These were not words of some adolescent boy trying to show off for his buds. Those were words of a 60-year-old man. He and his supporters claimed it to be "just locker room talk". In the days that followed some 18 women came forward to say that he had behaved inappropriately with them, groping or attempting to kiss them, or even attempting to rape them. It seemed, in general, the American people sloughed it off.
This wasn't the only time we knew of his inappropriate behaviour toward women or girls. We'd had heard him talking about his own daughter in such a way that one can't help but say, "hmmmmm." We've heard him talking lustily about other teen girls and even walking in on them while they were changing in the dressing room of one of his pageants. He bragged about checking out his merchandise. He even had a credible child rape charge of a 13-year-old girl on his record. The charge never made it to court. The victim, now a young woman, and her attorney claimed to have been threatened if they followed through with it. Based on his prior known behaviour toward females, I find this completely believable. This case hardly got a mention, though. Why? This young woman's claim was sloughed off by the American people.
In the end, a large enough percentage of Americans were okay enough with his behaviour to vote for him to be their commander in chief.
This left me questioning. We have heard the term "rape culture" as being a subculture. But after this, I found myself asking, " Is the culture in the US predominantly a rape culture?" As in, " Could it be that the US IS a rape culture because so many people seem to be accepting of it?"
What do you think?