Yesterday, Donald Trump addressed a rally Tuesday night in Mississippi. At this rally, he took the time to mock Christine Blasey Ford in a way that was beyond offensive to women everywhere.
Before I continue, I want everyone reading to know that this post isn’t political. This post is simply written to express my feelings with this speech.
If you haven’t seen or heard the speech, here’s what went down:
- He mocked Dr. Ford’s gaps in memory.
- He defended Kavanaugh by saying his life was “shattered” by her claims, and said that she should be thrown in jail for coming forward with her story. The topping on the cake was when he said that all of those who defended her are evil people who wanted to “destroy people.”
- He said that this is a very scary time for men.
When I first heard these comments, I was disgusted. This man saying them was our president. And, these comments are offensive to women everywhere.
First and foremost, here’s why there are gaps in her memory. This event was pretty traumatic for Ford. I think that we all can agree on that. When it comes to trauma and dealing with trauma, in the efforts to cope, victims will have gaps in their memory. That’s normal.
According to a page on Wikipedia entitled Memory and Trauma, repressed memory is an effect of psychological trauma. The theory, according to the page, is that it was “removed from the conscious mind,” due to the fact that it has been kept in shame or fear. Wouldn’t assault be considered to be a cause of fear? I would think so.
However, what really troubles me is how much of an effect these comments could have on the younger women. Imagine if you’re a sixteen year old who watches her parents agree with these comments made at this rally. A few years later in college, this same woman gets raped at a college party. Instead of feeling like she is believed by those around her, she suppresses that same memory instead of getting the justice she deserves.
Now, is that the America we all want?
We have been making such strides in women’s movement and sexual violence awareness with both the #MeToo movement and the Cosby Trial. Women have been seeing justice and the wheels have been turning. We have reached a new era in getting women believed. We have reached a new level in awareness.
What our President said was beyond appalling and sickening. And, not true. The fact that he said that simply reflects on the fact that we sadly live in a world where boys will always be boys and not responsible for their actions.
I’d like to think that we’ve come a long way, but it upsets me to hear comments like this. I mean, let’s think about this for a second. If every man thought like this, this would lead us down a dangerous path. I don’t want to prohibit women from reporting their assaults, simply because they are afraid that they are not going to be believed. There are many reasons why a woman would not report, and they all stem from fear. Fear of not being believed. Fear of repercussions from that behavior.
We need to erase that fear. We need to celebrate the bravery of the victims for at last coming forward and making their voices and stories heard. And, this is for both men and women. Therefore, the words of our President need to be muted. They were outrageous and inappropriate. And, while we live in a society with freedom of speech, we live in a society where women everywhere need to feel safe too.
Let’s work towards that.