When I was barely double-digits, my 20-something neighbor taught me how to give him a blow job. He said it was just a kiss, but even at ten, I knew better. It was more than that. Heavier. It tasted like sweat and shame. Each time, he gave me beer first. I learned how to numb. How to acquiesce. He promised he wouldn’t hurt me.
Just before my 21st birthday, I was raped by a stringy-haired stranger in my campus apartment. He held a knife to my throat and called me by my first name. “Don’t scream, Katrina,” he said. “Remember that I can kill you.” Although my body was face-down on the carpet, the essence of me floated above, suspended in mid-air. Ceiling Girl. I watched from a distance, felt nothing as I tore and bled, my mind and my body separated by necessity, for survival.
One in five women will be sexually assaulted in this country. One in five. Line up all your beloved females and then count them off… 1… 2… 3… 4… 5. Do it again. And again. Then ingest these Donald Trump quotes and understand how an endorsement of him as the leader of our country results in accepting and perpetuating this rape culture, this objectification of girls and women:
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what (the media) write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” (Esquire, 1991)
“All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” (How to Get Rich, 2004)
“A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” (Howard Stern Show, 2005)
“Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely.” (Howard Stern Show, 2013)
“Howard Stern: Do you treat women with respect? Donald Trump: I can’t say that, either.” (Howard Stern Show, 1993)
There is no room in our White House for a misogynistic bully who degrades and shames and destroys women and who, by example, makes it acceptable for others to do the same. I dedicate my No-Trump Vote to my extraordinary daughter, to my strong and respectful sons, and especially to all those who have had to leave their bodies to protect their lives. This is for my fellow Ceiling Girls. We will continue to rise like the Phoenixes we are. Flames from ashes.