Enough is enough: we’ve reached a tipping point on sexual assault

From The Guardian UK:

In the words of Elizabeth Warren, “women have had it” with guys like Trump, and the others who grab, insult and harass us. There’s a new defiance in the air

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Most times, it’s easier to say nothing.

When a man gropes you on a subway. If a stranger tells you to smile as you walk down the street. When someone calls you a bitch because you turned them down at a bar. The decision of whether to speak up or push back is made in a split second, and for a lot of women, it’s just not worth it.

The person that just harassed you might get even more aggressive if confronted. Besides, what difference will it make, you think. Why spend energy on a person like this?

As the election looms closer and women continue to come forward to accuse Donald Trump of assault, I’ve noticed a shift in the way women are talking about dealing with these all-too-common indignities. They’re not just fed up with the harassment itself, but with the resigned feeling that this is just the way things are.

More and more, women are sharing stories of speaking up in those moments – and crediting Trump’s misogyny with what they did. Carolina Siede, writing at Quartz, described being leered at by a man one evening and changing her usual tactic of not “rocking the boat”.

As we sat in uncomfortable silence, I began to think again about Donald Trump. I thought about the women he’d groped. I thought about the men who, through their ignorance or denial, enable this behavior to happen. I thought about Michelle Obama telling women and girls that they deserve dignity and respect too. And I decided enough was enough.

Writer Rebecca Solnit shared a similar story on Facebook from a woman who was called a “cunt” by a stranger and decided to confront him. “Are you going to tell me it was just locker room talk?,” she asked.

There’s more talk, too, of the less obvious kinds of harassment and assault. A woman on Twitter this week described a man caressing her calf as she walked by him on an airplane, for example. When we think of groping what comes to mind is someone grabbing “private” areas. But if it’s another person’s body – it is private.

Trump’s remarks about women – his bragging about assaulting women without consequence and his continued insistence that every accuser is lying – have brought us to a sort of national tipping point. As Elizabeth Warren said about Trump to tremendous applause this week, “Women have had it with guys like you”.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/25/sexual-assault-tipping-point-elizabeth-warren-trump

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