You’d have to be in a bunker in Antartica to have missed the latest scandal involving Donald Trump. A recording came out in the past couple weeks in which he brags to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about how as a famous person he can kiss and grope women without their consent. He clearly knows how privilege works. He does not know how respect and consent work.
These latest comments prove that he has not seen the horror film Teeth. Because if he had, he’d know that Pussy Grabs Back.That’s the name of one of the movements to tear down rape culture and to stop Trump from setting foot into the White House.
A group of four women, Avri Beard, Jennifer Tench, Anne Clark, and Melissa Irwin, organized October 19th's protest in front of Trump Tower in Midtown, NYC. Beard says they are not affiliated with any one organization, but they were angry and decided to round up other people who felt the same way and created the event on Facebook.
“We initially hoped to get a 40 or 50 attendees—we are blown away by the result,” Beard says.
There were hundreds of people with anti-Trump signs and T-shirts and at least two women dressed as vaginas. A large truck with a caricature of Trump’s face with the words “Overthrow Trump” on the side circled the block and pulled alongside the protestors a few times, to eruptions of cheers. Taxi drivers honked their horns, cyclists rang their bells, and passersby took photos and offered words of encouragement.
There were a couple of people on the fringes with Trump/Pence signs, but the protest remained peaceful. The NYPD was there on the sideline as well as folks from the National Lawyers Guild who were there in case of any arrests or violence.
Last night’s protest comes on the heels of one organized by Yong Jung Cho that took place Oct. 18, also in front of Trump Tower.
She’s been actively involved with the group All of Us 2016 which is denouncing Trump’s racism, sexism, and xenophobia. She’d like the GOP to take responsibility for the candidate they have chosen.
“They’ve always known that Trump is dangerous for the country. We’d like them to put their country before their party...There is a ton of energy right now and a lot of frustration,” Cho says in a phone interview.
But there is one bright spot to all this. “It’s been incredibly cathartic for people to share their stories. We need to heal together,” Cho says about how people have been speaking openly about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.
Another demonstrator, Alison Cutlan, holding a sign reading “Dump Trump,” agrees with Cho’s assessment. “This is an incredible opportunity for women—and men—to come together to push feminism further. Women are more comfortable with speaking out. And it’s good for men to say, ‘what the fuck?’ and to call out bad behavior.”
People are frustrated and disgusted with Trump’s words. This entire campaign he has made deplorable comments about women and minorities.
When we speak about rape culture, organizer Avri Beard says Trump’s words not only demean women, it also shifts blame to locker room talk. “Trump doesn't take responsibility for his comments even when they were documented! He perpetuates the myth that rape can somehow be blamed on women and that men can remain blameless.”
Looking around at the protestors, there were folks of all ages—from middle schoolers to retirees.
One woman, Dawn Babbush, brought her son, 9, and daughter, 11, to protest.
“The kids know this stuff is going on, and this horrendous messaging about women being used. It is important for them to know that we can’t just talk about how things are terrible and then not do anything about it. Young women and girls need to be part of the dialogue about change and protest. And young men and boys need to step forward as allies in the fight against oppression,” Babbush says.
Her son’s sign reads:
I respect my mom
I respect my sister
I respect women
Mr. Trump, why don’t you?
Her daughter’s sign reads:
I’m just finding my voice,
Don’t silence me with your misogyny
It makes sense that young people who aren’t even able to vote yet would still be invested in this election. After all, they will be coming of age during this next presidency. If their parents and all of us allow a person in office who wants to appoint conservative Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and who will enforce the 2nd Amendment without any restrictions whatsoever; if we allow into office a man who wants to round up 11 million people (over half of whom pay federal income tax!) and deport them, tearing families apart; if we allow into office a man who flies off the handle when his ego is even slightly bruised, and give him the access to nuclear codes; if we do this, many, many lives will be affected for years to come.
To follow these protests look for these hashtags:
And don’t forget to grab him by the ballot on November 8!
Photos by Kate Hoos
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