To the Trump Supporter who doesn’t like the p word:
An open letter to the Trump supporter on my Facebook who doesn’t like the “p word”:
I’m deeply troubled by your comments and the way that you presented them as follows: that it was a private conversation between two men, that all men talk like that, that drunk men, friends of yours, talk like that all the time and that it’s okay because everyone you know says things like that about women. And women shouldn’t be offended because we say those kinds of things when we’re drunk too.
Your argument seems to assume that if everyone you know talks like that and if it doesn’t bother you that somehow your experience applies to all other women. It completely denies my experience of being a woman and a person living in this world, assuming that I too am surrounded by men who disrespect women, say demeaning things about women when they’re in private and when they’re drunk, and that if I overhear men around me saying demeaning things about women that it won’t bother me because it doesn’t bother you. You say that if I deny that I’m lying. If I deny that the people I surround myself with, my peers, my elders and my role models, talk about women using the words and phrases that Donald Trump used, that either I’m a liar or my entire world view and experience of life is just wrong. I’m deluded or I’m dishonest.
I’m not sure which bothers me more. Or if it bothers me most that you have such a limited perspective on the lives of others.
The few times in my life that I have experienced open sexism, it hasn’t been from people with whom I choose to surround myself. It’s been overheard or from a distant acquaintance who won’t be hearing from me any time soon. It was never excusable and it always bothered me. I never overheard a man talk about brainless sluts whose bodies they could grab and thought it was okay. I never had a friend make a sexist comment to me and responded with, “Whatever, everyone says stuff like that.” It’s not okay and it doesn’t feel good. I’m not sure why you think that just because it doesn’t bother you or anyone you know, as you put it, that it wouldn’t bother me. Or, you know, millions of other women.
You said that you don’t like the word pussy, which you called the “p word.” I take that to mean that you raise your daughters not to swear and say the word pussy. I would hope that you will also raise them to believe that they deserve respect from every man they encounter in this life, regardless of whether it’s supposed to be a private or a drunk conversation. I know what I think is more important. Maybe it doesn’t bother you when a misogynist makes a general comment that sexualizes and demeans your entire gender, but it might bother them one day more than the word “pussy” ever will. I plan to raise my daughters to swear and to tell any man who tries to grab her pussy to fuck the hell right off.
Facebook tells me that you have a degree in psychology, but I don’t understand how that is possible because it appears impossible for you to have any insight into the psychologies of anyone who isn’t exactly like you. It seems entirely out of your conception to think that anyone is unlike yourself and your friends. It’s staggering.