In the weeks since the leaked footage of Donald Trump bragging about assaulting women and “grabbing them by the p*ssy” surfaced, both the remarks themselves and the ensuing aftermath by Trump and his camp to dismiss his words as “locker room talk” has been a trigger for rape survivors and victims of sexual abuse. If any good can come out of the toxic rhetoric, however, it’s to raise awareness about the very serious issue, which is the subject of this short film uploaded to the YouTube channel Humanity For Hillary, called “It’s Not Ok.”
In the video, various women share their stories, and state that sexual assault is not acceptable under any circumstances, including Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg, Amber Tamblyn, who previously shared her own story on social media, and Rose McGowan, who likewise recently opened up abut her ordeal.
Unfortunately, it seems like just about every woman has a story like this to tell. So, here’s mine.
I was 19 and working as a waitress at a seafood takeout restaurant after my freshman year of college. Because I didn’t drive yet, I would usually rely on my coworkers for rides home at the end of the night, but one night in particular the owner of the restaurant, a 30 or 40-something guy I’ll call “Lenny” (because that was his f*cking name) said he was headed in my direction and offered to give me a ride after he finished up some paperwork. While I waited, he offered me a beer, and before I had even finished it he was suddenly on me, trying to kiss me, hands like an octopus. I was terrified.
After several rebuffs I was able to finally get him to take me home, but in the weeks following he would often grab or grope at me whenever I found myself alone with him in the walk-in refrigerator or food prep areas. Eventually I quit when his efforts proved unsuccessful, and he “punished” me by taking away my weekend night shifts and made me work lunches, when there were no tips to be had.
It should come as no surprise that this man had a shockingly beautiful fiancee who was entirely out of his league, and I was at the time tomboyish teen; as Trump likewise misses the point when he dismisses his accusers by claiming that they weren’t “attractive” enough to assault. That’s not what it’s about.
As the women in the above video state, one by one, it is not okay. This is unacceptable from any man, much less someone vying to be President of the United States.