donald trump’s words damaged my childhood before he said them

I’m not typically this serious on here, but as a mother of a daughter, and a voting adult living in the US, it’s time to share this story.

I was in 3rd Grade at my very suburban, very “safe” elementary school. For those of you who don’t have kids, 3rd graders are typically 8-9 years old. I was 8.

I was walking down the aisle between desks after handing my teacher an assignment, and my classmate grabbed me. By the crotch. I won’t repeat what Trump said because, frankly, I don’t want to dignify it. If I say that phrase, I will do so to empower myself. I choose not to say it.

The teacher saw what my male classmate did, and sent him to the principal. The whole class saw what he did. There was no further conversation in the class. Maybe my teacher said it wasn’t ok, but I don’t remember that.

I do, however, remember that I had to goto the principal so my classmate could apologize to me. He made me face the boy who assaulted me. What was I going to say? From the age of 8 I was told that I had to say “it’s ok” to someone who violated my space and my body in front of 15 other students. It was humiliating and looking back on it as an adult, it partially shaped my self esteem and my subsequent interactions with men.

Let me just say this. Rape culture is real. Anyone who says it isn’t has never experienced something like I have. Unfortunately it wasn’t the only time, but fortunately it’s the only one related to current events.

As a mother, a woman, a wife, and now a strong, confident, feminist, I implore you. Do not let a racist become the next president. Do not let a misogynist who lets people speak about his daughter in a sexual and demeaning way, become the next president. Do not tell the current and future children, teens and men that people like this “successful businessman” (I say that laughably, but loudly, since it’s the only way any Trump supporters defend their candidate)  be the next president.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for a constructive change. Not a racist, sexist, dangerous reality TV idiot.

Don’t condone the actions of the boy from my third grade class. Not from him, not from Trump, not from Brock Turner. I didn’t deserve it, my daughter doesn’t deserve the potential threat of it. No one does.

When you go to the polls, remember this. There’s a young girl in a classroom somewhere… in a restaurant… in a park… The day that she has the same thing happen to her that happened to me, do you want that boy to say, in his own defense “well, the President did it, so it must be ok”?

For information on how to support survivors of sexual assault, please visit rainn.org.

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