When many of us first heard Donald Trump say he is so powerful he grabs women by the p****, we thought: Well, this just can’t get any worse, especially if you’re a mom intent on raising your daughter or son to respect themselves and treat everyone as equals. Things seemed glum for a few days — until women decided enough was enough and struck back in the smartest way possible. Several women have shared deeply personal sexual assault stories that prove Trump’s words and his sexist attitude do matter. There haven’t been many silver linings on all of the dark clouds plaguing this presidential campaign, and this may be the closest we’re going to get.
Actress Amber Tamblyn has emerged in recent days as one of the more famous celebrities to come out swinging against Trump. Rather than taking the easy way out — because insulting either the GOP candidate or Hillary Clinton has become a game many of us play on any random Tuesday — Tamblyn posted this brutally honest message about her experience with sexual assault on Instagram, along with a not-so-flattering photo of Trump kissing Miss Universe.
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I need to tell you a story. With the love and support of my husband, I've decided to share it publicly. A very long time ago I ended a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship with a man I had been with for some time. One night I was at a show with a couple girlfriends in Hollywood, listening to a DJ we all loved. I knew there was a chance my ex could show up, but I felt protected with my girls around me. Without going into all the of the details, I will tell you that my ex did show up, and came up to me in the crowd. He's a big guy, taller than me. The minute he saw me, he picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina— my pussy?— and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash, out of the club. His fingers were practically inside of me, his other hand wrapped tightly around my hair. I screamed and kicked and cried. He carried me this way, suspended by his hands, all the way across the room, pushing past people until he got to the front door. My friends ran after him, trying to stop him. We got to the front door and I thank God his brothers were also there and intervened. In the scuffle he grabbed at my clothes, trying to hold onto me, screaming at me, and inadvertently ripped off my grandmother’s necklace, which I was wearing. The rest of this night is a blur I do not remember. How I got out to the car. How I got away from him that night. I never returned for my necklace either. That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend's violence for at least the next week. I had a hard time wearing jeans. I couldn’t sleep without a pillow between my legs to create space. To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I'm even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart. I couldn't take that. But you understand, don't you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight.
Writer Kelly Oxford took the movement to discuss sexual assault openly one step further by encouraging women to share their stories with the hashtag #NotOkay. At one point during the weekend, Oxford took to Twitter to announce she was receiving two sex assault stories per second. Here are a few that, in a perfect world, would make the words “locker room talk” disappear from existence. The hope is that, by feeling no shame for what happened to them, these women will help others realize they aren’t responsible for the actions and words of men who have assaulted them. As a mom, I can’t think of a more important lesson for my daughter to learn to help her become a strong woman.
Raped fresh yr of college. Police said "don't mix beauty and booze" this is the first time I've publicly said that. #notokay
— Jillian Corsie (@JillianCorsie) October 8, 2016
Sometimes a grope. Sometimes a word. Sometimes just a slow, measured stare from top to bottom and back up again. #notokay
— Hillary Miller (@CricketArt67) October 8, 2016
— Cary on Resisting (@this1littlebird) October 8, 2016
A man found out it was my 16th birthday. "16 and never been kissed!" he said, as he grabbed me and kissed me on the mouth. #notokay
— Mandie (@Mandie82) October 8, 2016
— Savana B. (@singsavana) October 8, 2016
I was 13. Dad of the kids I babysat offered to drive me home. I said no. Said he wanted me to be safe. On the drive he felt me up. #notokay
— MuffinyMuffinPants (@MuffinyMuffin) October 8, 2016
1st I can recall: 14 & man at the pub library tried to look up my uniform skirt from the bottom bookshelf w/a mirror. #notokay
— Brie (@coolbreeeze_) October 7, 2016
The more open we are about sexual assault, the more united we stand as women who will do everything in our power to demand more for our children.