By Lisa Huddleston
Okay. I have finally reached the point in my life where I simply cannot believe what is happening to this country. And I lie on the liberal side of conservative thinking–I tend to be less shocked than many.
But what?! Did a Republican presidential candidate actually brag about sexually assaulting women, “apologize” for his “locker-room talk,” and that same candidate is being defended by the so-called Christian conservative Right? Surely I am having some kind of waking nightmare?!
As a graduate of Vanderbilt University, I am sadly familiar with the term, culture of rape, as it applies to college athletics. If such a culture is reprehensible for young men of 20, how is it okay for a grown man who was 59 years old at the time to brag about groping women and walking into women’s dressing rooms to see them unclothed? Sexual assault cannot be defended.
If you are a woman, I’ll bet that many of you can recount times when you have been sexually threatened, assaulted, or even actually raped. In high school I was grabbed in a manner that Mr. Trump described, and it led to my smacking a young man’s head nearly off his shoulders. I have also been put in other situations in which I didn’t know how to defend myself against someone who was in a position of authority. One was a particularly humiliating experience which to this day makes me shake with rage and shame over not reporting it.
Mr. Trump, an apology that leads to a “but … it was locker room talk” is not an apology. He believes he has done nothing wrong, and it is humiliating for our entire country to have the world seeing him lifted up as our possible president. I am ashamed all over again–by Donald Trump, by the RNC, by conservatives who refuse to see their hypocrisy. But this time I will speak up!
Sexual assault and rape are never acceptable, never funny, and never ever understandable. Please, vote to protect women from being objects to be used by powerful men. Vote for a candidate who is qualified, prepared, and respectful of the civil rights of all people.
And, thank God, no matter what happens, my hope is not in chariots or horses or politicians. My hope lies in Christ alone.