Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Memo to Trump: Please Do Not Shame Sexual Assault Victims

with 12 comments

Folks, over the past week-plus, I’ve watched in horrified fascination as Donald Trump’s own words have come back to haunt him.

It’s appalling that someone as high-profile as Donald Trump, a nominee for the high office of President of the United States of America, would say things about trying to pick up a married woman, much less saying he could grab someone by her privates (by the use of another “p-word”) and no one would care, because he’s a celebrity. (This courtesy of the 2005 “hot mic” tape recorded during an Access Hollywood shoot years ago; the conversation was with AH’s then-anchor, Billy Bush.)

But it keeps getting worse. As woman after woman have come out to speak about how Donald Trump treated them years ago (all similar to what Trump’s words said, that Trump made moves without their consent and did not back off even when the women said, “Please stop” or worse), Mr. Trump’s response has basically been to shame the women who’ve made the accusations.

Before I go on, I will note that Donald Trump has not been convicted of any crimes. (Being an obnoxious boor is not a crime, after all.) However, I find it extremely disquieting that rather than saying, “I would not do that. I have daughters, and I’d never want anyone doing that to them,” Mr. Trump has made comments such as, “She’d not be my first choice” (during today’s speech in North Carolina, according to MSNBC), in order to try to discredit his most recent accuser.

Why?

Because comments like that make it sound like the only reason to sexually assault someone is because she is too attractive for the man to resist.

That’s absurd. So absurd, I am surprised I even have to comment on it, considering it’s 2016.

Mind, in case you’re wondering, this isn’t the only comment Mr. Trump has made along those lines by a mile. He’s talked about how thirty-five-year-old women are not worth his time; he’s called his own daughter, Ivanka, a “piece of ass;” and he’s bragged about cheating on his wives during marriages one and two.

Obviously, Mr. Trump sees women as commodities. Not as people. Or at least, in the past, he has…we can always hope he’s had a consciousness-raising since 2007 (the latest year any of the various women who say they’ve been victimized by Mr. Trump has reported).

Speaking about sexual assault in terms of women’s attractiveness alone is obnoxious. Rude. Disrespectful. Not to mention extremely inaccurate.

And saying that it shouldn’t take years for a woman to report what happened is also wrong.

The simple fact is, many women are disbelieved when they tell the Powers that Be about what’s happened to them.** They wait for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years or even decades, because they expect they won’t be believed.

And most of the time, unfortunately, their first instincts have been correct.

I sincerely hope that Mr. Trump did not do anything to any of these women. And that his “locker-room talk” (as he himself has characterized his extremely vulgar words during that 2005 tape) was just that: talk.

But I remain extremely upset by all of this. And I know I’m not alone.

———-

**Note: I know I was, years ago. I was nineteen. No one wanted to believe it, especially during a high-profile summer internship. (Yes, I did report it within a couple of weeks…not that it did me any good whatsoever.)

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Written by Barb Caffrey

October 14, 2016 at 5:14 pm

12 Responses

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  1. There’s one thing that anybody talking about “Victims of Sexual Assault/Harassment” should keep in mind.

    The idea that “Women Don’t Lie About Sexual Assault/Harassment” is an opinion Not Fact.

    Trump may be a Crude SOB about women but in one of these “accusations” there’s evidence that the woman is lying and has strong connections with the Democratic Party.

    Barb, I’m not going to call you a liar about your experiences but when it comes to Politics there are plenty of reasons to lie and the liars will be “protected” by the News Media & Liberals when they are lying about Republicans.

    Of course, as we’ve seen on College Campuses there have been plenty of cases where women lie and nobody doubts their word unless the man has very strong evidence of his innocence.

    There have been plenty of cases of injustice where men’s reputations are smeared by out-right lies concerning what actually happened.

    When Women refuse to call out the liars concerning Sexual Assault/Harassment, the women who have actually been raped/harassed are the losers along with the men falsely accused.

    IMO the vast majority of Men hate Real Rapists but thanks to the Liars who are blindly believed by the Liberals, many men are doubting if the cases they hear about are “Real Rape”.

    IE Women who lie to attack Men or Women who decide after the fact that they really didn’t want to engage in sex with their Male Partner who honestly believed that she was completely willing to have sex.

    There have been cases of so-called Rape that were filmed and the tape showed that the woman was completely willing.

    This isn’t about Trump but is about the D*mn Lies told by women.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    October 14, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    • So are you trying to convince me that women lie and men don’t? WTF, when women came out about Bill Cosby did you stand up for him? Or is it different because he is black? Hate to tell you but you can’t have it both ways. And WTF does a Party have to do with this? I’m sure if you asked around that most people would agree that some, and I repeat, SOME women do lie about sexual assault/harassment and that has nothing to do with what freaking party they vote for.

      Also, are you implying that because Trump is a rich, white Republican that he wouldn’t do something like that? What did the neighbors of Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson etc say about them? It wasn’t anything bad or they would’ve been caught a lot sooner I would think. And I don’t remember anyone talking about what freaking party they voted for. But I’m sure you believe that they would be Liberals, correct? Again, WTF does who they vote for matter? If you want to have an argument about politics then find someone who is blogging about that. But I have one more question for you Paul. Trump talks about how he’s going to make America great again. Have you heard or seen any of his ideas to do that or are you blindly trusting him like he tells you to?

      Barb, I understand your frustration. Women have feared coming forward, especially against someone who is rich or influential. There is also the guilt factor, believing that for some reason it was their fault so they don’t come forward. I also know the pain of someone lying about it when nothing happened and if you’d like to talk I’m willing to listen. And just know that those of us that can think for ourselves and aren’t willing to blindly follow someone just because of what party they associate with agree with you.

      Faerie-bookworm

      October 14, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      • Thanks, Faerie-bookworm, for your spirited comment.

        Yes, I’m frustrated. It’s very difficult to come forward. You’re absolutely right about the “guilt factor.” I blamed myself for freezing up, not being able to fight back, all that — which complicated my ability to heal, later on.

        The important thing to remember here is that while some people of any gender-flavor will lie, most would not and do not. And those of us who do have horrible experiences, who try to discuss it later, have to fight an uphill battle — against the people who don’t believe us for whatever reason, and against ourselves for even being _there_ and to have this horrible thing happen in the first place.

        Thanks for your comment, again. Stop by any time. (And I appreciate your offer.)

        Barb Caffrey

        October 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    • Paul, I respectfully disagree with you. But I’m glad you understand that my experiences are my own, and are real.

      As far as anything else goes, every great once in a while — statistically speaking — there are false accusations made. (Thinking here of the Duke Lacrosse Team, for example.) Those are awful, and I don’t understand when it happens.

      With sexual assault, there has been improvement in how men understand “no means no.” It’s a lot better than when I was nineteen. (Back then, I said “no,” then froze up — I couldn’t respond, couldn’t act, couldn’t stop him, and I was a strong woman! You’re just so shocked, you don’t know what to do. And then, later on, you get asked, “Why didn’t you fight back?”)

      Barb Caffrey

      October 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      • No disrespect intended, but as a man I take false accusations very seriously and would hate to have to defend myself against a female liar.

        While men aren’t perfect, this asshole garbage that men are almost always at fault has to end.

        Otherwise, Good People won’t believe women who have really been raped.

        As for Faerie-bookworm’s comment, people lie and that includes both men & women.

        But then Bill Clinton was supported even after his sex-harassment by the stupid NOW folks even though they pushed this “Women Don’t Lie” garbage.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        October 14, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      • I didn’t support Bill Clinton. But I did say in an editorial when I wrote for the Daily Nebraskan years ago that it takes two.

        Make no mistake about it, Paul; if Bill Clinton were running in 2016, he’d have not made it to the White House.

        The whole business is sordid and awful. Rape is about power and control, not sex. The victims — men and women alike — have a hard time rebuilding their lives afterward.

        That’s why I wrote this blog, Paul. I figured it might help a little bit, in case there was someone out there — man or woman — who’d been raped and felt no one understood. (I do understand, because I’ve been there.)

        Barb Caffrey

        October 15, 2016 at 12:46 am

      • If an innocent man is accused of rape, he is automatically guilty in today’s media.

        If by good fortunate he is found innocent then he very well distrust any claims of rape.

        It’s because rape is such a terrible crime that I dislike this “Women Don’t Lie” shit.

        When it appears that a man can be falsely accused of rape and the liar gets off, then society may go back to those “bad old days”.

        I wonder how many people who repeat this “Women Don’t Lie” stuff have had family members or friends falsely accused of rape?

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        October 15, 2016 at 7:51 am

      • I didn’t say all women don’t lie, Paul. You’re putting words in my mouth that aren’t there.

        I’m saying that most women would never lie about this, because it’s deeply embarrassing to us. To have to admit this happened, that we weren’t able to stop it, that we couldn’t do anything about it, is deeply shameful to us — but it probably shouldn’t be. Instead of blaming ourselves, we have to instead get upset at those who violated our trust and violated our bodies instead.

        In this case, Paul, I said already in my blog that I hope none of these stories turn out to be true. But I have to proceed as if they are, mostly because of Mr. Trump’s own words on that Access Hollywood “hot mic” tape where he said he could grab women by their private parts because he was a celebrity, and would kiss women without their consent because he couldn’t help himself. That’s why I am more inclined, in this case, to believe these women than not.

        Sometimes, there are false accusations, sure. I know in my case, I did tell the police, but it was weeks after what had happened, and there was no physical evidence. They did not proceed.

        The only good thing I was able to do was when the rapist tried a second time, I stopped him cold. I wasn’t in shock that time, and I was able to scream invective, shove him away, and threaten to call the police. (No cell phones when I was nineteen, at least, not for middle-income people. Maybe some really rich people had them with the ultra-long antennas, back then.)

        I think you’re a good person, Paul. But you’re underestimating just what shock does, to a woman — especially a young one, without much in the way of life experience — if you think that most women ever want to talk about this.

        Trust me; we don’t.

        So, why am I doing it, then? Because there still may be someone out there, man or woman, who’s been raped. And thinks no one will care about them, because they haven’t been able to explain what happened, maybe were in shock, maybe couldn’t figure out what was happening…and I want them to know that I do care, and I am not going to refuse to listen to them because what they have to say is deeply embarrassing.

        Barb Caffrey

        October 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      • Three things.

        First, this Trump thing is on top of all the shit and lies that the News Media and the Democratic Party have done to Trump and other Republicans in the past. So I’m a little hyper on this subject.

        Second, times have changed since your troubles happened. Now it is too damn easy to accuse a man of rape/sexual harassment without evidence and it is the man who suffers worse than the woman. IE Her claims are accepted without question and his reputation can be destroyed without any evidence to his wrong-doing.

        Third, you wanted “Trump to not shame sexual assault victims” but What IN Hell do you expect a Man to do with he is falsely accused? Your feminists “friends” have made it clear “All Men Are Potential Rapists” and they behave as if Any Man Is Guilty. What do you expect men to do when they are falsely accused in the News Media?

        By the way, I’m ending my part in this conversation as I don’t want to say anything to you that I’d regret later.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        October 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      • Paul, it’s a very hot-button topic…and all I want Donald Trump to do is stop saying things about his accusers’ looks. I don’t know if what these women are saying is accurate or not. But talking about their looks, as if they’re not attractive enough to do anything with, is not appropriate and is not okay.

        Barb Caffrey

        October 15, 2016 at 6:58 pm

  2. Just found this interesting discussion. Paul, you and so many other men (although not all by a long shot) are so uneducated on the subject of sexual assault and rape and its consequences and damage to the victim. Women from my generation (my rape happened in the early ’70s) quickly learned NOT to talk about it, ever! Because it made people uncomfortable and squeamish! I learned that people would view me as a liar if I did talk about it. Mine occurred in a day and age and under circumstances where there was no point in going to the police about it. Just wasn’t done. You would not believe how many women (and men) are out there that have experienced the trauma and degradation to their soul that comes from this crime. You don’t get over it. You learn to live with it instead.

    So it was buried deep, very deep for me. Then the stuff that came up in this election cycle got me to bit by bit bring it up again. The first time I mentioned it on a FB comment it took me a good hour to press the “post” button on FB because I was crying – 40 years later! Did I really want people to know this about me? It was liberating to finally press that button! – The PTSD trauma of it NEVER goes away!

    Unless you have been raped, you really really really don’t understand. And people in this country need to learn that IT IS NOT OK to brush off any sexual assault talk as “locker rom talk” or “boy talk” as Melania says. It only encourages other men and young boys as well to think this kind of behavior is somehow OK. And then maybe they go on and extend that belief into a little bit of forcible sex too. It’s just wrong and really ugly. And I believe men need to learn how to HEAR women when they talk about their experiences and not automatically assume they are lying! It’s a very crass response.

    I expect if you read this, you’ll quickly come back with another “Yeah but…. some women lie…” crap. Maybe some do, but I believe they are in a tiny, tiny minority. Most women I know still would not ever talk about it – which is part of the problem of allowing men to have opinions like yours that are based on an initial reaction of “it’s all a lie” and “poor Donald Trump” – he’s so misunderstood! Yeah, what a great guy!

    Bonnie Follett

    November 13, 2016 at 1:02 am

    • Thanks, Bonnie. I appreciate what you said. I know that I was raped about a decade and a half after that…it’s certainly not something I’d prefer to talk about, but it happened, and I’m not going to pretend it didn’t.

      Bless you for being able to talk about it openly, both on FB and here.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 16, 2016 at 12:37 am


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