We need to recognize the plain fact that the people in power aren’t just tolerating men who abuse women. They PREFER them.

Heather Jo Flores
Sep 26, 2018 · 8 min read

Let’s get real, folks. Donald Trump had more than a dozen women (and young girls) accusing him of sexual misconduct and the man BRAGGED about assaulting women on the campaign trail, and he was elected President of the United States, a position you could not possibly earn without the support of many, many people.

Bosom buddies (note the doomed young lady on the bottom left).

What follows is an open letter to the women of the world and especially of Trump’s America, from the person who wrote:

Trigger warning: rape. Tons of it. All day every day.

Have you been hearing the pleas among Trump supporters to “preserve European-American culture”?

Take a moment to reflect on the millions of women who were raped, murdered, and enslaved for millennia in “old Europe.” Not to say that women haven’t endured this crap in pretty much every other country as well, but my point here is this:

Trump, his administration, and the American Nationalist agenda in general quite obviously intend to decriminalize rape and other forms of violence against women, and if you live in America you need to acknowledge that the very real threat to yourself and the women around you is growing, and fast.

What will happen when rape becomes impossible to prosecute, when being a sexual predator actually increases a man’s chances for top-level positions of power?

It almost is this way already, as we know.

It’s already perfectly legal to lie and manipulate somebody into your bed. And it’s practically legal to rape a woman who is intoxicated, as we have seen time and time again. Especially if she is your wife, your sister, your ex-girlfriend, or even your employee; we all know that sexual predation usually goes, for the most part, unpunished. And now we’re seeing horrible, evil men being consistently rewarded for this behavior.

We’ve all seen the absurd quotes from actual, elected CONGRESS PEOPLE taking the position that rape is physically impossible or women can’t get pregnant from rape. People read this crap and then they go out and vote for these guys. The stupidity is enough to make you vomit. But the reality needs to be enough to make us wake the fuck up, because Handmaid’s Tale, here we come.

BTW, if you weren’t actually “raped,” meaning if the predator never put anything inside your body, then you can pretty much forget it because chances are, most of the men and even some of the women in your life will question whether or not anything happened to you at all.

Yeah yeah, you already know that women are oppressed. You already know that sexual predation is endorsed by mainstream culture. You already loathe Trump, Kavanaugh, and everyone else in that evil regime.

Here are a few things you might not already know:

The numbers below represent incidences where the person was actually penetrated. I couldn’t find any statistics for victims who were “only” grabbed by the pussy (or some such).

  • Estimates of rapes that go unreported range from 60–95%.
  • 63% of reported rapists are white men of European descent.
  • Only 26% of reported rapes were committed by a person unknown to the victim (or whom she couldn’t see or identify). The vast majority of the time, the assailant is somebody the woman knows and will continue to see, walking free, in her day to day reality.
  • 21.8% of American rapes of female victims are gang rapes: groups of men in agreement with each other, enabling, and helping to perpetuate the rape.
  • 91% of reported rape victims are female and 9% are male, but 99% of rapists are men.
  • Of the rapes that are reported, only 18% of the perpetrators will be arrested, usually because the cops don’t believe the victim’s story, even with witnesses present.
  • For every 1000 rapists, 6 or less will see a day in jail, and in general, even violent rape is punished with much shorter sentences than robbery, drug possession, and similar nonviolent crimes.

These numbers are sometimes vague and often difficult to find, though I did discover an interesting tidbit about police departments purging rape records to make it look like their law enforcement efforts are more successful. Pssh. You’d think they’d fudge the shoplifting records or release the marijuana offenders. But nope, they choose sexual abuse as the crime that deserves no departmental integrity.

Yuck.

And yeah, honestly, if I was assaulted (again), I wouldn’t report it either. Because I don’t see any pattern of accountability at all, and the one time I did report a direct threat of physical violence to me and try to get a restraining order, I was hung out to dry and labeled a “snitch,” while the perpetrator was housed, supported, and slept with by people I considered my friends.

In fact, I’ve left several large communities in which I served, faithfully, as an activist, farmer, artist, and leader, for years, because when it came down to believing the victims and confronting the violence and abuse, people just…didn’t.

But this isn’t about me, and it isn’t the statistics that are important here.

Look around you, at the women in your life. How many of them have survived sexual abuse?

Add on the others, who have never been raped but have certainly been coerced, duped, manipulated. Now toss in the women and girls who have survived just plain physical and psychological violence. Sprinkle the male victims you happen to know on top and you get a dominant, resource-controlling, and super well-armed paradigm that sends an obvious, resounding message:

Patriarchy doesn’t just tolerate the objectification, subjugation, and brutality of women. It requires it.

And pink pussy hats by the millions aren’t even a thorn in their side, as we’ve seen, several times now.

So what can we do?

Phew. I wish I knew, ladies. I wish I knew. I can think of a few things to start, a shortlist that might help. But again, we need to recognize the strength and complete lack of morality within this beast we’re up against.

Women of color are already being grabbed at the border, tossed into cages, and abused without repercussion. This isn’t news. Black women have been enslaved and sexually exploited for centuries. And being white doesn’t protect you either. If anything, it just makes things more confusing, because privileged white women have a harder time recognizing when they’re playing for the wrong team.

find me on FB @heatherjoflores. I got your back.

Let’s brainstorm a list of things we can actually DO to resist the misogynist patriarchy:

  • Stop seeking approval from abusers. If your boss is one, quit. If your partner is one, leave. I know it’s complicated, but this isn’t just about you. There is support out there for you. Find it, and get yourself free.
  • Believe women. False accusations are very, very rare. But perpetrators of sexual violence who get away with it, on multiple victims, for decades, are super common. Believe her. She has no reason to make this up, since she’s the one who will be socially punished for speaking out. Just…believe her.
  • Create our own economic systems that do not require support or approval from predators and abusers. This will help other survivors to leave and to thrive.
  • Establish and maintain public and private spaces where predation is not tolerated in any way, shape, or form. Straight up. Draw the line and hold it.
  • Refuse to stab other women in the back. Err on the side of solidarity if at all possible, and work hard to maintain healthy relationships with other women. I know, we can be so bitchy! But look deeply into the behavior of women who offend you, and as yourself why she thinks it’s to her benefit to act like that. Because it isn’t, and it isn’t to your benefit to turn against her, either. I’m not saying give clueless, selfish people a pass. I am saying it’s usually worth it to try compassion before you dismiss. And I’m also saying do not EVER enable an abuser. Do not sleep with married men, steal another woman’s job, or trash her character because some dude told you she was “psycho.”
  • Garden. Wait, huh? Yeah. Grow food. Do permaculture. It’s not that easy to get access to big land that isn’t owned or controlled by abusers, but it’s a little easier to find small spaces on which to seed a tiny hope for the future. If we spend all of our time fighting, we will wither. We have to spend time nurturing, growing, building the abundance we will need when this is all over.

Please consider this an open letter, and give your feedback on any level. We can change this, together. And we have to try. I’ll for sure be hosting discussions about this and related topics in my Facebook network. Come join us!

To read more of my work and check out my online courses for women writers and women in permaculture, go here:

References and resources:

PermacultureWomen

Permaculture design, organic gardening advice, wellness, decolonization, online education, Eco-Heroines profiles, and personal essays from ecofeminist writers around the world. Brought to you by Heather Jo Flores and www.PermacultureWomen.com

Heather Jo Flores

Written by

Farmer by day, writer by night. Writer/founder of #foodnotlawns. My passions: #permaculturewomen #womenwriters, #heroinesjourney. www.heatherjoflores.com

PermacultureWomen

Permaculture design, organic gardening advice, wellness, decolonization, online education, Eco-Heroines profiles, and personal essays from ecofeminist writers around the world. Brought to you by Heather Jo Flores and www.PermacultureWomen.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade