This Election Should’ve Come with a Trigger Warning
Originally published on medium.
Like many, I watched the final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last night, and felt anger rise within me. But, I also hoped I would feel something else: relief. And then Trump made his latest asinine declaration that he’ll concede only if he wins replaced that feeling of relief with a feeling of panic. He will do everything in his power to drag this election out. And for me, that means he’s doing everything he can to terrorize the women who feel triggered by his horrendous actions and subsequent denials of the accusations.
When the Access Hollywood tapes were released, Kelly Oxford asked women on twitter to share their stories of sexual assault with the hashtag, #NotOkay. The response was overwhelming. Nearly every woman I know has encountered some form of sexual assault in their lifetime — whether it’s that friend who snaps a bra strap after repeatedly telling them it makes you uncomfortable, or a boss that offers you advancement in exchange for a “little something,” and even worse, the men, who like Trump, think it’s perfectly okay to “grab women by the pussy.” If Trump would’ve sincerely apologized, maybe it’d be easier to forgive. But, that heartfelt apology has never come and most likely never will. Instead, women are being forced to watch this predator share a debate stage against Hillary— a woman who has the experience and poise to be President.
And what message does this send to our young girls? That you can bully people, call them “nasty,” and other despicable names, interrupt them, and flat out lie without zero consequence? If you don’t get your way, just say “it’s being rigged” and play the victim? What about the actual victims? What about the brave women who have come forward and said the claims Trump made in that tape are true, only to be told by him that they’re lying and they’re too ugly for him anyway? That’s not the America I want to live in. That’s not the America I know.
Our President is supposed to be someone unifying, someone who makes us proud to live in this amazing country; someone who inspires us. The only thing Donald Trump inspires is fear. He makes me uncomfortable. He makes me feel like I don’t matter. That is not someone who should be our President. Hell, it’s not even someone who should be running.
I understand that Hillary is not a perfect candidate. I wish I felt the same passion for her that I did for Obama back in ’08, but she’s not only the best option in this election, she is the only option. To say you’re undecided is to say you don’t care about women or minorities. You don’t care about me, or my friends, or our mothers. So, please make the right choice this election. The stakes are too high not to. For myself, and the many others like me who have been triggered, we can’t have another four years of distress.