Many years ago, there was an awful man, inexplicably placed in a position of power – not great power, but enough for him to enjoy and abuse. Entrusted with safeguarding my welfare, he instead used his power against me in a humiliating and sexually inappropriate way. I was young and didn’t know how to defend myself, to say no, to call for help, or even to tell someone after the fact. Years later, as an adult, I watched him, still in that same position of power, given an opportunity to do right by a child, and again choose instead to do harm with his power. Not sexual this time. Just complete lack of concern for the child’s best interest, and gleeful wielding of his powers while doing serious damage to a child’s life.
That awful man is one of the people I am reminded of by this awful man in the White House who loves power.
There was another man I knew. In his 30s, he liked skinny little 13 year old girls. After gaining the trust of my father, and using my love of horses, he managed to be alone with me on several occasions and took the opportunity to ask me questions about masturbation and other topics inappropriate for an adult to discuss with a child. He was the cause of an accident that happened while I was with him which frightened me and caused me minor injuries. He then “played doctor,” cleansing my wounds. He eventually was ballsy enough to walk right into my house without knocking when my parents weren’t home and enter my bedroom where I was completely naked after a shower. He stood gazing and chatting while I scrambled to cover myself with a blanket from my bed. This time I did at least have the wits to say that my brother (who I’m pretty sure this guy knew had guns) would be home soon, and he left. Who knows what might have happened if he hadn’t believed me? And I still didn’t realize I should tell someone.
That pedophile is one of the people I am reminded of by the pedophile in the White House who enjoys young girls.
There have been and continue to be so many others. Men who talk down to me like I am a child because I am a woman. Men who treat me with extreme disrespect when there are no other men around but suddenly are all “Yes Ma’am” when another man is present. SO many men all my life who have patted my head and told me various versions of “Stay in your place and be quiet.”
They all remind me in one way or another of this Asshat in the White House who is a complete dolt, is rude like a spoiled child, lies constantly, has committed all manner of fraud and bought his way out of it, and demonstrates clearly and frequently his attitude toward women (that their value is measured solely by degree of beauty or usefulness to him.)
He showed me who he is and I believe him. I recognize him. I see him clearly for what he is because I’ve known pieces of him all my life. Never before though, have I seen them all, so horrifyingly, in one body, and with so much undeserved power as now.
So that’s why when anyone supports him I’m amazed and saddened, but when a man who loves me supports him, it feels like he has refused to defend me against an awful man, a pedophile, a condescending, disrespectful jerk, who would, and one day may indeed, gladly do me harm.
I know they don’t see it that way, these men who love me. I know they would defend me if they knew, if they believed, that I was threatened or insulted. But they don’t know. It’s some type of awful blindness or ignorance. They can’t see him. They don’t know. They probably wouldn’t understand why I feel threatened and undefended. But I am.
And now I know to say something.
You are indeed a great writer. I am so sorry you had these things happen to you. It never ceases to amaze me how many have these stories. Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone left who has not been violated in some way by the time they are our age.
Thank you, Cindy! So kind of you to say.
And no, I’m afraid there are not many who have not been violated in some way – some more severe than others. Few are completely unscathed.