The “P” Word

Donald Trump (2016), Author Michael Vadon (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

Donald Trump (2016), Author Michael Vadon (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches” (Prov. 11: 16).

Sexual assault has in recent weeks become part of the political dialog.  News media are politely tiptoeing around the crude language Donald Trump employed on the topic, without actually repeating it.

That a candidate should have engaged in this criminal behavior (and still have felt compelled to crow about it, at the tender age of 59) is simultaneously ludicrous and despicable.

However, that some men touch women, without their consent, comes as no surprise to women.  Countless women have been subjected to identical behavior, without consequence to the men responsible.

I am an incest survivor.  The stranger who grabbed my crotch at the beach when I was 12 y.o. could not have known that.  But he calculated – quite accurately – that I would be too stunned to speak of the violation.  In that, I was not alone.

Thousands of vulnerable women and girls experience groping, and either have no recourse or know of none.  The inappropriate touching may not last long; it may not rise to the level of rape.  But the sense of powerlessness leaves a permanent scar.

Whether the assailant is a family member, friend, or stranger, the behavior clearly establishes his dominance.  When do fathers, brothers, and sons learn that this is allowed, even encouraged?

I need hardly add that the vast majority of men would never engage in such conduct.  What is troubling, however, is that there are women who excuse or justify it.  After all, boys will be boys.  No harm done.  The girl was probably asking for it.

Just locker room talk [1].  Let Trump be Trump [2].

Women ought to be appreciated for more than a pretty face and a 44DD cup size.  Objectification is not a compliment.  It devalues women.  That message reaches our daughters loud and clear, especially when well-known evangelical Christians continue to support Trump [3].

Funny thing.  Demeaning women demeans men, as well.  Men may posture for one another.  Men may count coup, listing women among their other conquests.  But the need to boast goes hand in hand with insecurity and inadequacy.  Ask any woman.

The “p” word, by the way, is predator.

[1]  This is Donald Trump’s primary defense.

[2]  This has been Donald Trump’s campaign strategy.  See Politico, “Trump’s new campaign manager vows to let Trump be Trump” by Nick Gass, 8/18/16,

[3]  BuzzFeed News, “Prominent Evangelicals Still Backing Trump After Lewd Video” by Rosie Gray, 10/7/16, updated 10/10/16,



Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Christianity, Community, Emotional Abuse, Politics, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

16 responses to “The “P” Word

  1. One of the signs of a great writer is to be able to hold the reader enthralled. Another sign is to introduce an unexpected twist at the end of a piece of writing. “The “p” word by the way is predator”: Inspired!

    I had not thought about the “insecurity” and “inadequacy” of men who boast about their conquests of women, but this does ring true. Loving, confident men do not do this – they don’t need to make someone feel small and powerless in order to prove their worth. Trump is the perfect example of a man who needs to brag in order to feed his inflated ego. This is not a good thing in Joe Public or indeed a man campaigning for the Presidency.

  2. I agree that you do not touch anyone without their consent. But it is equally wrong to accuse someone of this wrongly. It has been found that yet another accuser was lying. I suggest you update your news.

    • I cannot attest to the truth or falsehood of the claims made against Donald Trump. However, his own words are a witness against him. The point of my post is that women should not tolerate this type of behavior — whether by a celebrity or private individual.

      • As long as that includes Bill, I agree.

      • You are absolutely right. Frankly, I wish we had any other viable choice but Hillary Clinton. I have found her arrogance repellent since she was First Lady. Never mind the various scandals which have surrounded her. That aside, I strongly disagree w/ many of her policies, especially insofar as trade. Yet I cannot, in good conscience, vote for Donald Trump. He has his own series of scandals, this one included. But it is the issue of temperament above all which is a deciding factor for me. Every voter must, of course, make up his/her own mind. Either way, I fear for the country.

    • Ten accusers are allegedly telling the truth and one accuser is lying about the same issue – Go figure. I’m not sure how you can possibly defend this person who has by his own admission said that he did these things and it was “all locker room talk”. Yes, it is wrong to falsely accuse someone of something they have not done and I cannot condone this, but I think it might be useful if you re-read this in the context in which it was written..

  3. The behavior and actions you’ve so ably written of today should never be tolerated by anyone. The scars it produces can run so deep. I’m totally in shock today with the evangelical Christians continued support for Trump. Its because of “hate” for Clinton, and feared loss of freedom that they are blinded. That’s my opinion.

    Many, not just Christians, are concerned over the loss of freedom that would result if Clinton should be elected. God is certainly concerned about freedom and slavery, but not enslavement to a political or economic system. God is concerned about enslavement to sin and rebellion against God, a condition all humanity is born into. The despotic master is not a politician, ideology, or economic system. It is shameful self-centeredness, an evil devotion to created things at the expense of truly worshiping the Creator. This is why Jesus would not let Himself be reduced to the level of a political Messiah. Jesus’ teaching does indeed have great bearing on freedom and social justice. But, the pursuit of freedom and justice as defined by the world will always prove vain and short lived unless the deeper and darker enslavement is recognized and dealt with. In Jesus’ view, Caesar himself is a slave.

    Great post, Anna!!!!

    • Well said, Levi. Thank you for the compliment. I wish I had a solution to offer. It has seemed to me for a long time now that darkness is rising. That does not, however, make the situation hopeless for Christians. We must cling all the more to Christ.

  4. Thought-provoking, Anna.
    I am amazed that someone would have the nerve to touch another person, it’s shocking. That said, after hearing that audio tape, I believe these women. I am embarrassed for the reputation of men in general – 98% of us would never do this – I hope, anyway.
    While in college, my daughter was an intern one summer for Texas Senator John Cornyn. He was always a gentleman and professional… Would I feel comfortable with one of my daughters interning for a President Trump or the first man, Bill Clinton? No way! Isn’t that sad?

  5. Thanks for such a heartfelt post!!!. And you are quite right: sexual assault could be given in different ways… and even stalking could be one more subtle expression of the same tendency to demonstrate power over the victim.. Woefully there are many silent victims , among women and men… there is always an element of shame which goes related to this. Which is part of the vicious circle, I am guessing…
    Sending all my best wishes, dear Anna.

    • Thank you so much, Aquileana! You hit the nail on the head, as far as shame is concerned. Sadly, it can be part of the lingering damage of abuse. My own feeling is that bringing these secrets into the open helps place the shame where it rightfully belongs…with the predator. ❤

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