November 09, 2016

Open Letter to Our New President

[Photo added 12/28/16 6:34:00 PM - CC0 Public Domain]

I don't think I've ever known a U.S. president as well as I know you. 

In fact, I met you years ago. I met you over and over again in the 20-plus years of my adulthood. You had different faces and different names; you were in different cities and wore different clothes; but you were you, all the same.

You were the man who pulled his car over on Sunnycrest Drive and asked me for directions to the high school when I was walking home, and then pretended not to be able to hear or understand me as I kept my distance, urging me to come closer. You were the first man to show me your penis uninvited, but you were far from the last.

You were the man who lived in the dorm room next door and came to visit me drunk one night, just to tell me how inexperienced and foolish I was and coerce me into doing things I hadn't done before and didn't want to do. 

You were the man who denied doing all of it and then blamed me for misunderstanding. 

You were the stranger who followed me off the Night Bus in London and shoved your hand up my skirt while muttering something unintelligible and then slithering away.

You were the classmate who walked me home drunk just to have sex with me, even though I said I didn't want to.

You were the guy who used a crowded subway train on the way to work as an excuse to rub up against me with your hard-on, so bold and unabashed that I couldn't believe it was happening, and I froze in fear. 

You were the guy that catcalled me on the street and then called me an ugly, fat cunt when I rebuffed your advances.

You were the date who complained that my bra didn't match my panties.

You were the date who complained that I didn't wax my hair down there.

You were the bartender who wanted me to crawl around on all fours like a dog.

You were the bartender who tried to shove it in the back door without asking nicely first.

You were the bartender who only pretended to put on a condom.

You were the friend who started having sex with me while I was asleep, even though I only let you stay because you were too drunk to drive home.

You were every guy who got too handsy with me in the office, and who got every excuse on earth from all those around you. You were just being friendly. You were just joking. You were married. You told me I was being too sensitive and uptight. 

You were the boss who couldn't see past my womanhood. I was smart and successful, but you took every chance to tear me down with a double entendre, and you made sure you had plenty of witnesses.

I've often wondered why I've encountered so many versions of you over the years, what makes me a target and makes you seek me out to harass, abuse, assault, and otherwise victimize me over and over again.

But now I know: It's not me, it's you. 

There are so many Donald Trumps out there, and they all voted for you. 

And there are many more of them than I ever expected, even though I'd met so many of them already.

We tell our girls to stay away from guys like you. We tell them not to put themselves in a compromising situation with you, not be alone with you, not to go home with you, not to get drunk with you.

But how can we avoid you, when you're the president of our country? When grabbing life by the horns -- and women by the "pussy" -- is considered presidential?

How can we teach boys who are becoming new men to be kind, loving, and fair -- and not to rape?

How can I have any hope for anything, when the people have most certainly spoken, and what they've chosen is the one thing I've spent my entire life trying to get away from?

Don't get me wrong, President-Elect Trump. It's not all your fault. You're simply the pied piper of all the sexist, misogynist, superficial blowhards who've finally come out of hiding.

They say you should know your enemy. Well, I know you. I know you all too well. 

But you don't know a thing about me.

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