Why didn't these Trump accusing women come forward earlier?? I think I sort of know why. Allow me to share the following experience:
Years ago LPP and I were leaving a bar in Austin, TX. On the way out a man reached out and slapped me, HARD, on the butt. It hurt. LPP flipped out. Do you know what I did? I called 911 and reported an assault. I told the guy off. LPP pinned him to the wall until the cops came. I had him arrested for assault and we went to court and I got some money out of it and he got community service. YEAH!! GIRL POWER!!!!
Except that isn't at all what happened. To me, that seems ridiculous. Doesn't it seem that way to you? So what did I do? As I was leaving a bar with my husband, I got SLAPPED HARD on the butt. LPP flipped out. Instead of any of that 911 stuff, I simply got in between LPP and the offending man. I insisted that LPP calm down. I told him it wasn't a big deal, the guy was joking around, it was just a slap, he's not worth it, we were leaving anyway. I made us leave. Why did I do that? WHY DID I DO THAT? Because I’ve been pinched, slapped, grabbed, leaned on, grinded on, kissed all without consent my whole life.
I remember the boy in 2nd grade who liked to try to look up my skirt. If you weren’t looking he would try to put his fingers up your dress and into your underwear.
I remember in 5th grade when I was the new girl in school. Boys wrote me these obscene letters with poems: “Julie, Julie I love you so. Come over my house and give me a blow.” I didn’t know what “blow,” meant but I knew it was dirty.
“Angel is a Centerfold,” came out some time during this stage. I remember the video vividly – the girls in class being grabbed and looked at by the men. I remember it making me feel exposed and embarrassed.
Middle school was something of a reprieve. I was a late bloomer so the girls that bloomed got harassed. I remember feeling left out. Wishing I had bloomed so I would get that attention.
High school brought me teachers. Junior year I had a male teacher tell me my perfume was sexy. He told me he needed a minute to get used to it because it was so intoxicating. I didn’t wear perfume.
This year also gave me the football equipment manager telling me he had a dream about me in which I was laying on a lounge char. He told me that in this dream that when I got up from the chair I was naked. I will never forget being backed up against a brick wall outside the football locker rooms as he leaned in, one arm on the wall above my head as he shared this dream with me. That one I told my Mom about. She called the school and he got a talking to. I know this because he came up to me and told me that he had to stay away from me. He was confused – “I was just a dream. Do you want a ride home?”
Also during this time I was dating. I was exploring. I was trying to understand the difference between respect and attention. I was fortunate to understand that you can get attention from boys that respect you. I went that route.
College. Well – just take the aforementioned stuff and add beer and it’s all about the same. Mix in some workplace harassment after graduation and we’ve got a nice little lifetime pattern where stuff happened and I didn’t say anything.
So then let’s look at the reason I began writing to begin with. Why didn’t the Trump accusers come forward then? Why did I tell LPP to let it go?
I don’t have a good answer. Why did I do that? Why didn’t I stand up for me? I am honestly too close to these stories to understand why I kept quiet. I’d certainly stand up for someone I saw being treated that way. I’m kind of known in my friendship circles for being the one who would confront that sort of behavior if it happened to someone else.
Otherwise – I really don’t know why I stayed quiet. I know every single woman reading this has her own stories. I know we’ve been seeing a lot of them on social media and actual media. Why did you stay quiet?
Why did I?