By Katherine Hamilton | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve heard a great deal of hullabaloo about how Donald Trump doesn’t represent the values our country wants to portray. After the election, the in-unison out cry of “He’s not my president!” streamed all over Twitter, Facebook and my college campus.
Many could not believe a man who had blatantly been exposed for “locker room talk” was now at the forefront of the United States. But I’m here to say: he is an accurate representation of the United States and further confirms the culture of sexual objectification I have grown up in all my life.
He is our president because he is what I see all around me. Every time I walk down the street to class I am cat-called numerous times. At a party, an avid Trump-hater drunkenly groped my behind while serving me lurid looks and slurred vulgar comments. Men say inappropriate things to me on a daily basis, or tell me what I can and can’t do based on my appearance. And I’m not a special case.
Lustful thinking is the reason women’s education in America is being tampered with, and for something as small as showing the skin of our shoulders. My body is more visible than my mind, so I must try extra hard to be “taken seriously” as to not distract.
The culture of the United States places value on being appealing; however, being attractive and respected simultaneously is one of the biggest struggles of women’s lives. I shouldn’t have to worry that behind the closed doors of the locker room, my name is being dragged through the mud. We might be equal in many respects, but we shouldn’t have to fight this hard.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college, and more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. Why is the number so high, and why do some people still consider sexual assault as something trivial or shameful? Who or what is making them feel like they can’t speak up for themselves? I am filled with foreboding as I make the short half-mile walk in the dark to my dorm.
One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime according to Rainn’s Victims of Sexual Violence statistics. While the culture we live in lawfully punishes these acts, it does not necessarily promote a world where women can live their lives without fear.
Maybe young women don’t report for fear of their reputation being advertised across local headlines. “She was asking for it,” they will taunt, as she quietly suffers, not only with the physical and emotional trauma of her circumstances, but at the judgment of everyone who think she’s a liar and a whore.
I’m not smearing President Trump’s political agenda, his position or the effectiveness of his policies. I’m commenting on how he reflects America’s cavalier attitude towards the sexual objectification of women.
Trump is not the representation of all men. He is not responsible for all the transgressions against women in the United States. Not all men are out in the world making women feel unsafe, assaulting and raping them. However, it makes sense that with so much sexual aggression against women, we would have a president in office who makes light of these behaviors and doesn’t take responsibility for the way he’s made women feel.
The president is inherently a representation of his people. If people don’t like the way our country is perceived based on who is in office, then they should be more active in their role as American citizens. The college age bracket has the least voting attendance and the biggest complaints to voice—seems counter-productive to me.
We are responsible for Trump being there in the first place. He is our president. Change comes down to the individual, so each person is responsible for how their actions affect others.
For now, we have this man in office. Whatever good or bad he does for the United States, he will stand as the reminder of the burdens we bear and the sins we wish we could forget.