I feel like we’re living the opening moments of David Lynch’s movie “Blue Velvet”. We open on a vision of American bliss circa 1955 (or so) — A dad out watering the grass outside his slice of suburbia. The dad clutches his chest suddenly and collapses. As he lies on the ground, helpless, we push in on the grass beneath him. And it’s there where we find what’s really going on in this scene — it’s busy. It’s violent. And there’s rot all around. A terrific metaphor.
As a culture, we’ve been dominated by dicks from the start. That’s dicks, Dicks and “dicks”.
We’ve also been dominated by those dicks’ dicks. And therein lies our problem — a problem on its way to being mitigated by the flood of women seeking and acquiring political power. Their emergence as a viable, independent (multi-faceted) voting block has already changed America’s political landscape profoundly. While no one was looking, the emergence of America’s women as a force has already been acknowledged by America’s smarter boardrooms.
For all their right wing nuttery, The 21st Century Fox board of directors made it clear how clear they were that the 21st century world was different than the 20th century one when they fired Bill O’Reilly — their cash cow. Women had turned on O’Reilly. They were turning away from the brands that advertised on O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor”. Women had already become the chief decision-makers in most American households. Lose America’s women, you’re as good as done.
Most of the companies that advertised on O’Reilly’s show saw the handwriting. It was female — and it wasn’t coming back ever. Fox’s problem — women were on the verge of abandoning them completely. They tossed Bill O’Reilly overboard. O’Reilly, don’t forget, was/is a sexual predator who thought the workplace was a snack bar for his sexual peccadilloes.
If sexual predation was a mostly “black problem” — from the white point of view — we’d have fixed this already (racism would trump everything else). But, in our culture, sexual predation is a kind of male privilege. The more money a male has, the more predation he’s entitled to (apparently). The really, really rich predators? They can, per Donald Trump, pussy-grab at will.
Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein are “pervs of a feather”. That similar taste for “women on the younger side” (actually, we call them GIRLS because they are NOT YET women) should not be news to anyone — especially if they work in our less-than-observant main stream news media. A simple Google of Trump & “perversion” will score you millions of results and shitloads of irony.
While none of the women who’ve already come forward to tell their stories of being raped or assaulted or abused by Jeffrey Epstein and his friends have said “He took my humanity”, that is what each of their stories shouts. E. Jean Carroll’s brave confession in New York Magazine articulated that experience in detail, bringing us into the Bergdorf-Goodman dressing room right alongside her as Donald Trump literally raped her. To deny someone’s request to stop is to deny them. If the “no” in question is their personal space — or the plane of their body being violated — that is a denial of their personhood. The rapist — in this case Donald Trump — has placed his desire to put his penis where he wants — over the desires of his penis’ target. Donald Trump’s penis was more important to Donald Trump in that moment. Like every rapist’s penis, Trump’s mushroom dick had been weaponized.
Rape — like all sexual assault — is not sex. It’s violence. It’s assault and battery of both body and (here’s the important part) “soul”. As a survivor of a sexual assault when I was 14 (a thing I kept “secret” from myself for 45 years — it was a secret only in that I had failed to acknowledge what I k new for a fact had happened), I’ve got skin in this game. The man who sexually assaulted me did not see me as a “fellow human”. Though he never penetrated me, he saw me as nothing but a sperm receptacle. Under better circumstances (from his point of view), that is exactly what I would have become.
I guess I got lucky on that one.
But the man who assaulted me did leave a mark — a permanent one — on my psyche. He put me on an island alongside him — just me, him & our secret. If you didn’t know my secret, you didn’t really know me. And no one (not even me) was getting in on that secret. Nothing good can come of that. My secret nearly killed me. For real.
That — destruction — is the ultimate goal of a sexual predator. The moment I became healthy enough to confront what happened to me, I became a threat to mine. 45 years unfortunately was too long to do anything about it; my predator was already dead. But, had I found the strength to confront my truth and tell my story sooner — you see where I’m going. It’s better for the rapist that the evidence of his rape vanish. As rapists know though — a person doesn’t have to physically “vanish”. If you can vanish their personhood — it’s just as good.
We’ve got a front row seat now to how it all works. Trump has continued to deny that his rape victims were even good enough for him to stick his dick into. I don’t know about you, but saying “I save my rape for attractive women” makes it a thousand times worse. Never mind the fact that it’s bullshit. A college roommate’s dad once said of his son — a good friend of mine — that he’d “stick his dick in a snake”. Yeah — 99% of men at some point in their sexual life would have done that because our penises hold that much sway over us.
Every man has at least thought (even if still clothed) “Please — touch it” while sitting with or standing with an object of their desire. What they did or didn’t do to get their junk touched — that’s what separates the men from the boys from the pervs. A man looking for a sexual partner — as in someone with whom to experience sex WITH (as opposed to imposing sex upon) will always be adrift on a sea of doubt and uncertainty. Sometimes it’s hard to read another person’s messaging — especially when its ambivalent. The strict Rule Of Thumb has to be in the absence of a full-on, unequivocal “yes, I want to do this with you”, the answer is “no”.
Our peckers need to hear that “no” loud and clear.