The Undeniable Rape Culture Of Donald Trump

09/30/2016 09:02 am ET | Updated Oct 04, 2016
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

If you are a woman in America or a man who cares about women, I urge you to read this carefully as you approach voting on November 8. Even if you have been able to ignore the fact that Trump is an incompetent, racist, Islamophobic bigot who doesn’t believe in climate change, will cut Planned Parenthood, and move us back to the dark ages with abortion, I deeply hope this will change your mind. Everything compiled and quoted below was reported by some of the most prestigious journalists in the U.S. I have aggregated the data in the hopes of clearly establishing an insidious pattern of undeniable rape culture perpetuated by Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Three-Time Accused Rapist

While The Donald’s reputation as a womanizer is well known, the public doesn’t often talk about these accusations. But according to legal documents, Trump has been accused of raping a 13-year-old child, raping his ex-wife, and attempting to rape a former business associate.

While I cannot detail all the accusations here, I urge you to read the Fusion article in full. But for now let’s concentrate on the following attack:

“The third case against Trump comes via a recent federal lawsuit filed in June 2016 in the State of New York by “Jane Doe.” In the suit, Doe alleges that Trump raped her back in 1994, when she was just 13 years old…According to the suit, Trump tied her to a bed, exposed himself to her and then raped her in a “savage sexual attack.” Doe says she screamed for him to stop at which point he struck her in the face while screaming “that he would do whatever he wanted.” In a statement filed with the lawsuit, Doe says Trump threatened to ruin her life and her family’s life if she ever told anyone about the incident.”

Donald Trump, Alleged Sexual Harasser

The New York Times covered his brazen treatment of Miss USA contestants in the article “Crossing The Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women In Private” by Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey in which they featured the following excerpt from the memoir “Still Standing” by Carrie Prejean, 2009 Miss California:

Donald Trump walked out with his entourage and inspected us closer than any general ever inspected a platoon. He would stop in front of a girl, look her up and down, and say, “Hmmm.” Then he would go on and do the same thing to the next girl. He took notes on a little pad as he went along. After he did this, Trump said: “O.K. I want all the girls to come forward.” …

Donald Trump looked at Miss Alabama.

“Come here,” he said.

She took one more step forward.

“Tell me, who’s the most beautiful woman here?”

Miss Alabama’s eyes swam around.

“Besides me?” she said. “Uh, I like Arkansas. She’s sweet.”

“I don’t care if she’s sweet,” Donald Trump said. “Is she hot?” …

It became clear that the point of the whole exercise was for him to divide the room between girls he personally found attractive and those he did not. Many of the girls found the exercise humiliating. Some of the girls were sobbing backstage after he left, devastated to have failed even before the competition really began to impress “The Donald.”

On January 31, 2016, the Washington Post reported in “Donald Trump denies allegations of gender-based discrimination from former employee by Jose A. DelReal that a 26-year-old Iowa campaign worker filed a complaint with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission claiming that when she and another female coworker met Trump last summer, he looked them over and said “You guys could do a lot of damage,“ implying that their physical appearances could be very helpful to his campaign.

Donald Trump, Crossing The Incest Line

From “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private” By Michael Barbaro & Megan Twohey in The New York Times:

Trump turned to Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee, Miss Universe at the time, and asked for her opinion of his daughter’s body. “‘Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?’ ” Ms. Lee recalled him saying. ‘I was like, ‘Really?’ That’s just weird. She was 16. That’s creepy.” 

He said on the View, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Donald Trump on Sexual Harassment

From Trump on how women should deal with harassment: It’s ‘up to the individual’” by Katie Zezima and Philip Rucker in The Washington Post:

Donald Trump said Tuesday that women who are sexually harassed in the workplace can take action within their company, leave their employer while still seeking retribution, or quit. “I think it’s got to be up to the individual,” Trump said in an interview. “It also depends on what’s available. There may be a better alternative; then there may not. If there’s not a better alternative, then you stay. But it could be there’s a better alternative where you’re taken care of better.”

The Republican presidential nominee’s comments came after he drew criticism late Monday for an interview with USA Today in which he said that if his daughter Ivanka were sexually harassed it would be up to her to find a new situation. “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” Trump said.

Advisors to Trump ― Accused Harassers, Batterers and Misogynists

Trump is unabashedly, solidifying an emboldened, escalated and licensed rape culture. His group of advisors (75 percent of which are men) are like a migrating group of toxic cancer cells finding each other and merging together to form an unprecedented tumor of malignant, untreatable misogyny. We only have to look to the terrifying, soul-destroying, women-hating culture created by Roger Ailes, now one of Trump’s chief advisors, under his 20-year reign at Fox News, to get a hint of what the new culture will be like for women. Even Nixon, who Ailes advised and help get elected, had the sense to keep Ailes out of his White House, knowing Ailes’ sexually predatory nature could wreak havoc there. But Trump will not have these fears. Ailes and his other male advisors will be the architects of a world where women are reduced to commodities, where their value is determined by the shape of their bodies, their perceived beauty, their sexual appeal. Where, as Trump said himself, women are not respected. 

Rick Santorum, advisor to Trump on matters of religious faith

From “Santorum’s stone-age view of womenby Stephanie Coontz on CNN: “But in the past, he has made his real objection clear, categorizing contraception as “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

From “The 8 Worst Things Republicans Have Said About Rape, Sex and Women’s Bodies by Sarah Seltzer, Lauren Kelley on AlterNet: “Let’s not forget how Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, respectively, think rape victims should ‘make the best’ of it and see the unwanted child as a gift and sometimes cool people are conceived in rape.”

Stephen Bannon, Campaign Manager

From “Trump Campaign Manager Stephen Bannon Charged With Domestic Violence in 1996” by Margaret Hartmann in New York magazine:

“Stephen Bannon, the Breitbart News executive and new Donald Trump campaign CEO, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident with his then-wife in 1996.

According to a police report obtained by Politico, when Santa Monica, California police responded to a 911 call on New Year’s Day, Bannon’s wife alleged that he pulled her neck and wrist during a dispute over their finances. She said that when she picked up the phone to call the police, Bannon jumped over her and their twin 7-month-old girls and smashed it.” 

Micheal Cohen, Special Counsel at Trump Organization

From Ex-Wife: Donald Trump Made Me Feel ‘Violated’ During Sex” by Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny in The Daily Beast:

Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, “You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.” 

Roger Ailes, Trump advisor

From “The Revenge of Roger’s Angels” by Gabriel Sherman in New York magazine:

More than two dozen women have come forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment, and what they have exposed is both a culture of misogyny and one of corruption and surveillance, smear campaigns and hush money, with implications reaching far wider than one disturbed man at the top….Carlson knew her situation was far from unique: It was common knowledge at Fox that Ailes frequently made inappropriate comments to women in private meetings and asked them to twirl around so he could examine their figures; and there were persistent rumors that Ailes propositioned female employees for sexual favors.”

and

Laurie Luhn told the lawyers at Paul, Weiss that she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life. “It was psychological torture,” she later told me…

In recent years, Luhn had a series of mental breakdowns that she attributes to the stress of her situation, and was even hospitalized for a time...

Luhn put on the black garter and stockings she said Ailes had instructed her to buy; he called it her uniform. Ailes sat on a couch. “Go over there. Dance for me,” she recalled him saying…When she had finished dancing, Ailes told her to get down on her knees in front of him, she said, and put his hands on her temples. As she recalled, he began speaking to her slowly and authoritatively, as if he were some kind of Svengali: “Tell me you will do what I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it. At any time, at any place when I call. No matter where I call you, no matter where you are. Do you understand? You will follow orders. If I tell you to put on your uniform, what are you gonna do, Laurie? WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO, LAURIE?” Then, she recalled, his voice dropped to a whisper: “What are you, Laurie? Are you Roger’s whore? Are you Roger’s spy? Come over here.” Ailes asked her to perform oral sex, she said. Later, Ailes showed her the footage of her dancing. She asked him what he intended to do with it and, she says, he replied, “I am going to put it in a safe-deposit box just so we understand each other.”

This list, this hardcore evidence, should convince every woman and every man who loves women and who longs for a safe, free and equal world for their daughters, who does not want his sons to grow up to be sexual predators, to make sure Donald Trump is never president.

Women have come too far in these many years of struggle, empowering ourselves and each other, finding our voices, refusing to be silenced, degraded, denied to not stand united now.

We know that rape culture is a contagion, that once given license and permission divides and subdivides and spreads, contaminating individuals, cultures, businesses, mindsets and behavior.  The signs are already here everywhere. Trump openly and unapologetically calling women ugly, fat, pigs, dogs, losers, bimbos, gold diggers and disgusting animals. The proliferation of signs and bumper stickers for his campaign against Hillary Clinton screaming ‘Kill the Bitch.’ The demoralizing and inflammatory environment of his campaign has proliferated a rise of misogyny online that has spiraled out of control. Feminist writer Jessica Valenti was driven off of social media by death and rape threats and by a campaign of harassment and slander directed not only at her but her five-year-old daughter. Leslie Jones, a comedian has been under horrific and endless sexist and racist attack on Twitter. Her abusers went as far as to hack into her account exposing her privacy and naked pictures. And these are only a few examples. Once Trump and his like are in power, this behavior will be encouraged and celebrated. It will be far more difficult if not impossible to contain or stop it.  And, we know that violence against women is often a precursor for exploitation, domination and violence in every direction.

Women have come too far in these many years of struggle, empowering ourselves and each other, finding our voices, refusing to be silenced, degraded, denied to not stand united now. Whatever we feel about Hillary Clinton ― and there are swaths of us who take serious issue with many of her policies and practices ― the choice between the two is like choosing between the end of the world as we know it and the possibility of a world remaining that we can still fight in and for. Let’s get her elected and then, after Trump falls, energize and unite our powerful anti-racist, climate and economic justice, feminist, LGTBQ, anti-war movements to push her ceaselessly at every front.

Women have the power to determine the outcome of the election. Let’s seize that power and vote and send these sexist predators a message that no matter how hard they try, we are out of the bottle and we ain’t going back in.

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