The past two years have been weird for most people, I think. But as a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, they’ve been especially strange for me. In 2016, we elected a man to the highest office in the country who said the following things:
"You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she’s got to be young and beautiful."
"You’re disgusting." (To a woman who was breastfeeding.)
"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
“It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.”
“Bette Midler is an extremely unattractive woman.”
“Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb.”
“There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife and you know there’s a lot of husbands that list to that, so you know, they go for it.”
“Look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
“The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.”
“Roger Ailes is a very, very good person.”
“[If Ivanka was sexually harassed], I would like to think she would find another career or find another company.”
“Judge Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot—resign!”
“[Kim Kardashian] is a really nice person, but she’s gotten a bit large. I don’t think you should dress like you weigh 120 pounds.”
“I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?” (Said about a 10-year-old girl.)
“I moved on her very heavily.”
“I did try and fuck her.”
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all the sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything.”
“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kidding her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
“When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
“Such a nasty woman.”
“You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. I don’t think so.” (Explaining how he couldn’t have sexually assaulted Natasha Stoynoff because she’s not attractive enough.)
“I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”
“Wonderful looking while on the ice but up close and personal, she could only be described as attractive if you like a woman with a bad complexion who is built like a linebacker.”
“You have to treat ‘em like shit.”
“I have days where, if I come home – and I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof.”
“I think putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. Unfortunately, after they’re a star, the fun is over for me. It’s pretty sad.”
“I’m going to get bathing suits to be smaller and heels to be higher.”
“If you’re looking for a rocket scientist, don’t tune in tonight, but if you’re looking for a really beautiful woman, you should watch.”
“I think I could have [nailed her].” (On Princess Diana.)
“Ivanka is 17 and doing great. I would never date a girl younger than her. So as she grows older, the field is getting very limited.”
“You know who’s one of the great beautifies of the world according to everybody? And I helped create her. Ivanka, my daughter. She’s 6 feet tall, she’s got the best body. She made a lot of money as a model—a tremendous amount.”
“All the women on the show flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
“I bet you’d make a great wife.”
“If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
“We’re all a little chubby, but Rosie’s just worse than most of us. But it’s not the chubbiness. Rosie is a very unattractive person, both inside and out.”
“I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she’s not.” (On Angelina Jolie).
“They’ll walk up, and they’ll flip their top, and they’ll flip their panties.”
“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military, only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together.”
“Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
“Can you imagine that, the face of our next President? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks. Come on. Are we serious?” (On Carly Fiorina.)
“She doesn’t have the look.”
“I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s 12…and the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘who the hell is that?’”
“I’d fuck her. Wouldn’t you?” (While rating women on The Apprentice.)
Yes. Reading that exhausted me too.
I admit to being devastated the day that our president was elected, and especially heartbroken when people who I believe loved me rubbed his victory in my face. It was a big reminder of how little we care about women, and how much work we still have to do. It was also tragic because this was such a clear-cut case: there was so much video and audio footage of all of these terrible things he said. And it didn’t matter.
But, somehow, we’ve also decided this is the year that men in power stop being protected by our silence.
I do not delight in the ruin of anyone, but man does it feel good to see some of these men held accountable for years of abuse. Man, does it feel good to think about the other men who are justifiably worried they’re next. Man, this is encouraging after it felt so much like nobody cared.
I walk around in a world in which I do not feel safe, not just because of the men who behave terribly, but because of the men who don’t stop them. The men who “hold their noses” and vote for them. The men who don’t turn them in to HR. The men who don’t stop insults and harassment in their tracks. The men who don’t intervene when they see a drunk woman carried into a fraternity. You, just as much as the truly terrible men in the world, create this environment in which it is impossible for the women around you to reach their full potential. You are complicit.
So help us. Don’t empower these men. Don’t vote for them, promote them, or allow them to work with us. Don’t let them cut us off midsentence. Don’t befriend them. Don’t encourage their behavior.
Our lives are depending on it.