Donald Trump and the rape culture
The current presidential election campaign in the United States has brought out many social issues that seem to not only be affecting America, but the rest of the world. Among many issues like racism, xenphobia and homophobia, we have seen a blatant representation of a rape culture.
The evidence of this is everywhere, but it was the topic of discussion on all the major news networks in the US and across the world as Republican candidate Donald Trump once again found himself in hot water with some comments that he made on an Access Hollywood shoot in 2005.
Last Friday the Washington Post released tapes with Trump bragging about groping women.
"When you're a star, they let you do it." Trump said of trying to kiss beautiful women. "Grab them by the p****. You can do anything."
This would have disqualified any other candidate, but it seems Trump is the new Teflon Don. To add insult to injury, many of the Republican party members still endorse Trump for president.
I speak about the US elections because it is so polarising right now, but there's evidence of a rape culture right here in Jamaica. Many women are sexually assaulted daily while going about their daily business. From my own personal experience, men say very appalling and inappropriate things to me, and they think they are being complimentary. For example, I am constantly offered nine-inch penises by strange men.
On occasion, I have to tell off a man for touching me without my consent.
It's even worse when we look at the number of underage girls having sexual relationships with adult men, sometimes for financial gain. The bottom line is that the rape culture is a real thing that we can no longer ignore because the victims of sexual assault and rape are the ones who suffer the most.
Furthermore, when they try to seek justice through the legal system, that can prove to be very difficult and even increase the feelings of trauma already suffered. At this point, I wish to congratulate the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse on its efforts to create a more victim-friendly system so they can get some kind of justice that will contribute to ultimate healing.
There is still stigma around reporting sexual assault or rape, especially for the victim. And sometimes, they feel as if it is better that they didn't report the crime in the first place. Ultimately, we have to be more cognizant of the pain and violation that a sexual assault victim feels. So if someone as powerful as Donald Trump can publicly make the kinds of statements on tape, what is the message that is sent about how he views sexual assault and rape against women?
He clearly feels that it is fine for him to grab women's private parts at will - without her consent - because he is a star. This is simply not acceptable, especially if he ends up voted in as the next president of the United States of America.