ARE TIMES SO SCARY?
December 12, 2018
“It’s a very scary time for young men in America,” President Donald Trump told reporters while he was discussing how he was hopeful for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation into the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh was previously a lawyer and judge, who is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Trump’s comments about the matter were very dismissive, and it was as if Dr. Ford was not the victim, Kavanaugh was. Trump went on to say that,
“You can be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something”.
Many are angered about the recent men of power being accused of sexual assault, which include Kavanaugh and President Trump. They feel that the timing at which these women are coming forward are very odd. Dr. Ford came forward after thirty-six years and recalls being molested by Kavanaugh in high school. A large number of conservatives believe that this allegation was a political stunt to try and keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed.
In the same interview, Trump was asked to comment on how women in America are doing, and he said, “Women are doing great.” Everyday women endure a new kind of struggle or suppression that take a burden on their life for the simple fact that they are female. Trump’s comment on the safety of women is simply dismissive and ignorant to the female population as a whole, and in this day and age, as well as in history, it was and has been a scary time for women. While it is indeed a scary time for in the world, ignoring privilege at a time like this instead of using it as a platform, will leave women’s safety an undiscussed topic.
I was having a conversation with a male classmate about a recent video going viral. It is a woman by the name of Lynzy Lab singing a song she wrote called, “A Scary Time.” While the song is aimed at Trump’s interview comments, it also mentions all the reasons it is a scary time for girls. One of the reasons Lab sang was that women cannot walk to the car at night without their keys in their hand. This struck me as odd. I asked my classmate if men really do not do this, and he said they did not. As a woman, at least for me, I have always done this, always been cautious of what I wear, act, and do. I guess it never occurred to me that men do not always have to be as careful. We, women, hold car keys in our hands because violence against women does occur and almost everyone knows someone it has happened to. The list of violent acts that are typically against women spans from domestic violence to sexual assault, human trafficking, and attacks on transgender women.
When it comes to domestic violence, one in three women endure physical abuse from a partner in their lifetime. One in four women endure severe physical abuse, compared to one in nine men in their lifetime. This violence impacts women not only physically, but, “evidence shows that women who have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence report higher rates of depression, having an abortion and acquiring HIV,” unwomen.org stated.
Also, if women are doing so great Mr. Trump, why are one in five women sexually assaulted at some point in their life? This does not even include the one in three women who receive some form of sexual contact violence in their life. Ninety-one percent of rape victims are female. Victim blaming also occurs more often than many care to admit when it comes to rape cases, yet people wonder why women are scared to come forward. The women or girls are blamed for what they are wearing, how they were acting, if they were unconscious, drunk, had past sexual encounters with the person, all of these excuses are basically saying they were asking for it. In Ireland for example, a seventeen-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a twenty-seven-year-old male. Her underwear, which just so happen to be a thong, were used in court to defend the man. During the trial, the defense attorney held up the thong and said, “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.” The man was found not guilty shortly after, sparking an outrage: clothes are not consent. A seventeen-year-old girl, how could a female defense attorney stand up and hint around that a seventeen-year-old girl was asking for it because she wore a thong. The female body and dress, contrary to some people’s belief is not there for a man’s viewing pleasure. However, this court case is not the first instance in which the perpetrator gets little or no repercussions for their crimes. Another well-known case is the People vs (Brock) Turner.
Another way in which it is a scary time for women is the way the government, specifically in America, is trying to control the female body. The Trump Administration is using its’ power to make court rulings to take away affordable birth control and safe abortions. Women argue, along with Planned Parenthood, that our predominantly male government should not be taking legal action and siege on the female body. This act would allow, as the Washington Post stated, “Nearly any employer — nonprofit or for-profit — with a religious or moral objection to opt out of the Affordable Care Act.” The Affordable Care Act was put in place by former President Obama and it required employers to cover birth control. The reason of religious objection seems to go directly against the separation of church and state., saying abortion goes directly against the will of God. Our government should not be taking legal action and siege on the female body because women should be given the same freedom and control over their body that a man has.
On the other side of the matter, that it is a scary time for men, leading this argument is America’s very own president, Donald Trump. As discussed previously, Trump believes that the recent sexual assault allegations against men of power are leaving no man safe from being accused, or falsely accused. Many argue that false allegations can ruin a man’s life and even lead to wrongful conviction. Cases like these call into question the punishment for falsely accusing.
Sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh did not seem to ruin his life, seeing that he became Justice of the Supreme Court. Allegations did not ruin Donald Trump’s life either, even after a dozen women accused him, he is still the President of the United States. It seems like if someone has the money or the stature to pay their way out, their life is not affected. Someone who believes it is a scary time for men, yet has never taken a hit for his alleged actions, cannot make this claim. How can he claim women are doing fine when there are so many women who will never receive justice and are silenced?
Women’s safety must be discussed. Not only by women, but by men. It is most definitely a scary time in our world. Without discussion, without people acknowledging their privilege, no progress can be made. Raise your voice to support the women who society think are too loud, to opinionated, too bossy, and be a voice for the voiceless. We raise our voices, not because these women are our sisters and mothers, but because they are people.