Today Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s son shared he and his father’s stance on sexual harassment on CBS’s This Morning in reference to Donald’s view on sexual harassment and his daughter. Eric stated: “I think what he’s saying is, Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman, she wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it [sexual harassment]. She definitely would (address it with HR) as a strong person. At the same time I don’t think she would be subjected to that,” he added. “I think that’s the point he was making…” (via USA Today). Point taken.
In June of this year, I was groped and sexually harassed near my home by a young man while his female companion stood there and laughed. I have been groped on the Red Line. While standing on the el platform on my way to work, I was once told by a man that he would, “like to rape me.” It was 8:00 in the morning. I’ve been sexually abused more than once in my life. I’ve been propositioned for sex at least twice by cab drivers, asking for sex in lieu of payment. I’ve stood there as a child while adult men of male family members have ogled me, only to be told, “oh, it’s nothing, he just hasn’t seen you in a while.” And it goes on. Have I subjected myself to repeat harassment because I’m not a strong woman? Did I “allow myself to be subjected to it?” If you’re reading this and you’re someone who’s had similar experiences, whether you’re a woman or man, or this has happened to someone you love, then your response is most likely no, this didn’t happen because you weren’t, “strong enough.” The Trumps don’t think I was strong enough, and they don’t think that you’re strong enough either.
Eric Trump thinks that you and I are weak, and that his sister, a white woman of immense unearned privilege, is stronger than you, because a woman of her stature, her class, would never allow such a thing, as if she had a choice. Did I allow harassment as I sat silently in a cab, minding my own business? Did I not conjure my game face? When I was groped at 2:00 in the afternoon in front of a grade school, did I look weak? If memory serves, I was actually feeling pretty damn good walking down the block after an empowering therapy session. I bet that right before you may have been harassed, you might have felt fairly on point yourself.
After reading Eric Trump’s feelings on sexual harassment, I feel angry and sick to my stomach. This isn’t about Democrat, Republican, Green, et al affiliation. Eric Trump is a slut shamer and a victim blamer. He is the person who says: you drank too much, it’s your fault. Your skirt turns men on, you did this to yourself. It’s because of your choices that men abuse you. Boys will be boys. Men are born this way, it’s in their biology. He believes that women have the executive power to prevent harassment and assault, and if it happens to you, then you’re culpable.
I actually agree with Eric, he’s damn right that his sister “wouldn’t be subjected to it.” This is a family who has never known poverty or discrimination and therefore yes, would never be harassed because the Trumps have the money and the power, and no one is sexually harassing Donald Trump’s daughter. Her father’s status buys her immunity. The rest of us, not so much. The rest of us live in a Brock Turner world where the racially and financially privileged buy them the luxury of a carte blanche life.