If one wants to know why women often take years to come forward after being sexually harassed or assaulted, Exhibit A currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C., 20500.
But let’s backtrack briefly.
There’s a social wave occurring in the United States right now. In the worlds of the famous – politics, entertainment, media – scores of women are publicly taking a stand. They’re telling their stories to the world, detailing the ways that men of power and privilege have harassed, insulted, threatened, intimidated, and assaulted them. And these stories are finally beginning to have consequences.
- Bill Cosby’s career essentially ended when the accusations against him became widely known. Criminal proceedings started this year, though they have stalled for the time being.
- Harvey Weinstein was fired from his own company, and has become a pariah in his industry. In addition, criminal investigations are now beginning.
- James Toback will likely not be making any films ever again after literally hundreds of women accused him of sexual harassment and assault.
- Louis CK had to step away from promotion of his new film. Support and work has dried up for him, after allegations of sexual harassment were publicly released.
- Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, and Matt Lauer all lost their jobs.
- Al Franken agreed to an ethics investigation into allegations about him from before he was a Senator. Subsequent allegations included incidents from after he was elected.
There are so many others. Prominent men in positions of influence and power are finding the ground underneath their pedestals of privilege crumbling.
There is, however, one glaring exception. Allegations against this particular man have been publicly known longer than most of the aforementioned. But for some reason, this specific man not only continued in the public sphere despite these allegations, he thrived.
I am, of course, referring to the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
In fact, he became President AFTER video and audio evidence of him was released, cheerfully telling Billy Bush specifics about his crimes.
He literally bragged about committing sexual assault with impunity.
Yes, there was some immediate backlash, but it faded swiftly. After all, admitted sexual assault is bad, but a Democratic woman is much scarier – at least, to 63 million Americans.
Donald Trump hasn’t exactly faded out of the news since the infamous Access Hollywood tape was released. Obviously, becoming the most powerful non-Russian on Earth would guarantee that. But despite the turbulence of the Trump presidency, as well as a sudden cultural shift in favor of women pushing back against systemic misogyny – Trump’s own sexual misdeeds have largely faded from public memory.
They shouldn’t. Indeed, they can’t.
Not just for the individual women themselves, although their justice is paramount. However, also important is justice for women, period. If the American President is allowed to assault and harass more than a dozen women (at least), and face no retribution, no inquiry, no serious investigation, then injustice has been done to ALL women.
Donald Trump has a myriad of other issues right now, many of them unrelated to his treatment of women. And it’s possible he may find himself out of office early, and possibly even on trial – thanks to those issues. But even in that event, it would do a massive disservice to those he mistreated to forget about them, or they stories they’ve told.
I would like to provide a reminder that the current President of the United States has been accused of committing sexual crimes against the following women: