Dr. Mr. Trump,
You are an asshole. Let’s just say I’m responding to your predilection for “name calling” with a little tit-for-tat to your freewheeling objectification of women specifically the dehumanizing rhetoric that you project at individuals who challenge you. In a nutshell, Mr. Trump, I am addressing your misogyny.
I’ve observed the American electoral process with an ever-increasing disgust. The recent “leaked” tape exposing your conversation with Billy Bush adds to your expansive repertoire of deeply rooted hate speech that authorizes an explicit spectrum of discriminatory discourses. Your meaningless expression of having a “great respect for women” is delusional. Your sexist and exploitive lexicon was painfully showcased during the October 9, 2016 debate when in response to the above mentioned tape you downplayed your remarks as “locker room talk.” This violence is underscored by your statement:
“[…] when you’re a star, they [women and girls] let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Your self-described “star” status publicly validates your ability to enact a full range of actions that the power and privilege “celebrity” affords. Yet, Mr. Trump, in this case what you intend to do with your power constitutes rape (“you can do anything”). This sense of patriarchal entitlement with an outcome generating gender-based violence, Mr. Trump, sadly is not new. It has a very long history. Columbus had a parallel empiric drive when he arrived to an inhabited and economically, politically, and socially organized continent in 1492. The non-consensual desire to penetrate/own a woman’s body while stealing territory is the manifestation of imperial narcissism bound tightly with conquest. During the debate, the couching of your response to accusations of sexual assault with “knocking the hell out of ISIS” is not at all strange, but within a discourse of Empire that leaves no safety for, or acknowledgement of the citizens suffering in such places as Aleppo or for that matter anywhere. Your unrestrained and exploitive discourses weave into the common imperial desire of nation building or what you’ve branded as “Making America Great Again.” Mr. Trump, the sexual violence that you espouse is not contained in locker rooms, buses, Twitter, or lost and found recordings. The consequences of colonial violence continue robustly in the twenty-first century with for example over 2,000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls here in Canada. Misogynists like you enact violence in real life everywhere every hour of every day. You, Mr. Trump, are not only the manifestation of gender-based violence but you are also a perpetrator, a predator, and an instigator who shrouds violence in the flag waving colonial signifiers of nation. Said another way, you are using the discourse of nation to enable your aggressive and violent behaviour.
Now I would like to turn to the second part of your chat with Billy: “Grab them by the pussy.” I’m writing (and speaking) the word “pussy” out loud with its full strength and power. I refuse to water the word down with *#$* which silences my body and my intelligence to respond directly to your ignorance and hate for women and girls. I refuse to not say a word which is (re)constructed to misrepresent and threaten me while concomitantly used coercively to shame, vilify, and dishonour.
Words of advice, Mr. Trump: never assume that you have the power to grab a girl or a woman’s pussy or any other part of her body. That’s sexual assault. It’s a crime. It’s a direct threat of harm onto a person’s body, self hood, and mind. Your threat expresses your intention of provable harm, an action with which you should be criminally charged. Your threat communicates the proof of your objective: sexual assault. Ironically, you are the actual threat of violence that your imagined walls are supposed to keep out and protect American citizens from.
You conclude your statement by announcing that, “you can do anything.”
What interests me here, Mr. Trump, is your sweeping use of the pronoun “you.” Who is this “you” that you are addressing? Your violent desires are crystal clear, but to whom are you also encouraging to take up this abuse of power? While concerned citizens have fallen over themselves feeling the need to “protect women and girls” from your grasping tentacles, what about the young men and boys who are listening/learning from your reckless acts of power and those men and boys who are now authorized to contribute to the culture of rape that you are advocating?
Mr. Trump, your response to “being caught on tape” is a classic narcissist’s move when backed into a corner. You deflect and blame. I refuse your pathetic and common declaration of reform: “I’m a changed man.” Really? Apology theorist Nicholas Tavuchis explains that “an apology, no matter how sincere or effective, does not and cannot undo what has been done.” What is devoid from your so-called apology is empathy for the individuals you violate. Clearly you are missing a chip … or two. Instead you seem to enjoy manipulating and (re)traumatizing women who have been harmed to serve your agenda. You attempt through apology + privilege to return us all to the status quo. “Sorry,” for you Mr. Trump, fits comfortably into an abuser’s bag of tricks that endeavours to disguise the oppressive structures of sexual violence, which rests on misogyny. The fact that you, Mr. Trump, are a candidate in the running for the President of the United States – is horrific.
Now, what’s to be done, Mr. Trump? Your narcissistic desire to injure in order to sustain and misuse power will not change. But my hope is that American citizens who support you will reconsider their vision of leadership when it’s voting day. In the meantime, Mr. Trump, please know that you do not have the power to do “anything” to anyone without consent. That’s a crime. Let me be clear: Mr. Trump, I am not afraid of your kind. You are an insecure bully. I do, however, fear the violence that you are advancing with your hate-filled ideologies. Hopefully you will return to your rightful place: a B-list celebrity and well away from any political power.