Dear people of facebook, friends, and family,
Let me start this by saying that I am writing this not to change your political position or to call you out for who you voted for. I am not writing this to tell you that you are wrong. I am not here to sit on a pedestal. I am here to explain my side and ask that you understand. You don't need to agree. You don't need to all of a sudden go against your president. I'm just asking that you hear why I can't "just let it go", and that you respect and empathize, and never ask me to "let it go" again.
I (we) understand that the election is over. I (we) understand that there is someone new in the White House. I (we) understand that the office/position of the POTUS is one of respect. However, I (we) don't understand how to respect the man in that office. I (we) don't understand how to go on day-by-day accepting the things he has said and done. I (we) don't want the rest of the world to think that his ideals are our ideals. I (we) don't want the rest of the world thinking his Vice President's or Cabinet's ideals are our ideals. We will not just let it go, and I will tell you why Iwon't.
1. I cannot un-hear these words:
"I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
Why I can't let this go:
For starters, I am a woman, and this is just simply not acceptable or excusable. You can say what you want, but this is sexual assault, plain and simple. In case you need the Dept. of Justice definition, here it is:"Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape." (https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault) By brushing this off as locker room banter, you are only contributing to our nation's issue of rape culture. So again, why do I care? I am a woman who has been groped without permission, and it is NOT OKAY. I am a friend to victims of date rape, and it is NOT OKAY. These are not just words, these are a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. I don't care how long ago it was. I don't care that he wasn't running for president at the time. Abuse of power is abuse of power. Sexual assault is sexual assault. This is unacceptable.
On another note, I care because I am a married woman (mention of the fact that she's married I left out but you can listen to the full audio here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-recorded-having-extremely-...). Remember how enraged you all were when a man in power had consensual sexual relations with a woman who wasn't his wife? You wanted him impeached. So what I cannot understand is how you see this, and can elect this man into the most powerful, prestigious position in our country.
2. I believe a woman's rights means she is in control of her own body (not a government, not a man).
Why I can't let this go:
Let me start by saying that I'm pro-choice, but that doesn't mean I accept abortion (and yes, this is perhaps one of the messiest topics to address). I do feel that we are responsible for the decisions we make, and that we should accept the consequences of them. However, I want to pose this question to you that I'm sure you've heard before... what about a rape victim? Now I know what you will all say... you're either going to say "Murder is murder" or you're going to say "give it up for adoption". But here is my perspective on this, a woman has just been raped. She has gone through one of the most traumatic experiences of her life. Now she's pregnant, and this innocent child within her is now going to remind her every day for 9 months what happened to her. She'll have to explain the situation to everyone who asks "who/where is the father" or she'll brush it off, internalize it, and then develop more psychological issues over time (try to argue this with me, and I will gladly hand you an intro to Psychology textbook). If she decides to give up the child for adoption, she now has to go through another traumatic experience of giving up her child. Neither decision is easy. Neither decision is a win for neither the mother or the child. I don't agree with abortion, but I do agree that not every situation is black and white and that every woman has a right to chose what to do with her own body. So how does this affect me personally? I have never been raped nor have I ever had an abortion, but I want to know that if I or a loved one ever experiences this tragedy, that we have the options.
My second point is on contraception. I am not going into all the details, but I will say this... A woman who uses contraception is not "a slut". She is not automatically promiscuous. She is not "making the decision to have sex without wanting to deal with or worry about the consequences" as many of you have so kindly put it.
Here's why I care:
I started taking birth control at the age of 17. I was having terrible cramps that kept me from school and even made me miss my Senior year debate. I was not over-reacting. I couldn't walk. I couldn't sit. I couldn't sleep. All I could do was lie in the fetal position with a heat-pad and hope I wouldn't throw up every time I squirmed into a new position. I also experienced panic attacks every month when my hormone levels shifted (Disclaimer: I am predisposed to anxiety and continue to struggle with it, however, my hormone levels at the time only increased the issue). I went to the gynecologist, and she put me on the pill. I haven't missed school or work because of these cramps since. My anxiety is still there, but these panic attacks are no longer random or hormone-induced. And for the record, I went on the pill before I was sexually-active, so your argument is flawed. Also, to those of you who have stated that the Women's March was pointless because Trump has yet to take away any of our rights, would you prefer we wait until his promises and policies are followed through on? That seems kind of pointless doesn't it? We are fighting not because we've lost anything, we are fighting because we are afraid of losing these. We are fighting to keep our rights.
3. I cannot accept some of his cabinet picks, specifically the white supremacists and his VP.
Why I can't let this go:
This is a big one. This is the one that I think makes me the most angry. This is the one that makes me want to throw a history book at someone's head. I am going to state this simple fact and then give you some quick summaries and resources because I am afraid that if I go into this too much, this letter will no longer serve its purpose and will only become a rant.
Here's my personal stance:
My husband is Jewish.
I will one day convert to Judaism.
My children will be brought up Jewish (while still celebrating Christmas because I will never give up my tree and carols).
Oh, and I also don't believe that the color of our skin, the name we choose to call the same God we all worship (or choose not to worship), or who we love determines our rights or worth.
Why does that matter?
Steve Bannon, Trump's choice for Chief-Strategist and runs Breitbart News, has made Anti-Semitic statements.
Please also read some of his comments on women, the LGBTQ community, and racial minorities, and refer back to my previous two points.
And while I do not have evidence of these, his choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has also been accused of making racist remarks including a statement about the KKK that says he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”
And finally, let's not forget about his VP, Mike Pence, who has fought against equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
Why do I care? Because I have worked with, laughed with, cried with, befriended, and taught members of the LGBTQ community, and I want them to know that they have my support.
"But these aren't things Trump has said/done"... You're right, but he had endless options in the Republican party alone to choose from and he chose these. These are the people he chose to tell Americans and the rest of the world that he is on board with.
I'd like to conclude this letter with the fact that I could go on about all of the reasons I am scared and angry. I could go on about why I care about the rights of all people regardless if they are black or white, Christian, Jewish, Atheist, or Muslim. I could go on about why I care about the rights of immigrants and refugees who so desperately want to become legal citizens so they can know freedom and safety. I could go on and on and on. Instead, I wanted to show you my personal reasons for not letting it go. I wanted to show you how I, personally, without concerning myself for anyone beyond myself and my closest friends and family, can't just accept it.
Again, I'm not asking you to change your political views. I'm not asking that you get out there and protest. I'm asking that you hear my side and my concerns. I'm asking that you respect and empathize with them. The lack of empathy, not just one man or his cabinet, is what is dividing our country. If after reading this, you still feel like I should "let it go", then I feel sorry for you. I hope that in that case you can one day find the ability to empathize with a person who does not share the same experiences or beliefs as you. I also want you to hear me say this very loudly, I will continue to fight for your rights, but I beg of you to never say those three words to me ever again.