Trump and Bill Clinton’s Accusers
aka The Worst Moment of the Worst Campaign (For me. So far.)
I chose not to listen to the tape where Trump brags about sexually assaulting women, but I did see pictures from the “press conference” of Bill Clinton’s accusers. You guys, it killed me. The accusations against Bill Clinton are something that we should be taking seriously. I disagree with the idea that the voting public is tired of hearing about it. I would love a statement that acknowledges how fucked up his behavior was and gives credit to the amazing activists who have changed our culture so that that type of behavior is no longer ok.
Instead, we saw a man who is a blatant misogynist use (alleged) sexual assault survivors for his own gain. He treated them the way he treats all women: like objects whose only value is in how they can serve him. I have to admit that an unkind part of me questioned their motives. Is linking their fates with a man like Trump evidence that they are in fact lying about what Bill did to them? Surely, playing his game is participating in a sad, sick, cry for attention. I’m not proud of these thoughts, but I can’t deny they happened.
But, as always, there are more complicated possibilities. Like, what if they are clinging to Trump because they are so desperate to be taken seriously? What if they are clinging to Trump because they never managed to move on from patterns of abuse and they find a perverted comfort in his misogyny? Cycles of violence don’t just perpetuate through attackers. Survivors who don’t fully heal can’t always move out of re-victimization.
Either explanation leaves me feeling sick. I didn’t think that the campaign could stoop any lower, but it did. Seeing an abuser like Trump use the pain of sexual assault survivors to feed into his ugly narrative has sent me into a really dark headspace. I am saddened, sickened, and so so exhausted. If anyone else is feeling this way, I’m reaching out my internet hand so we can be together in the murky depths.