This ain’t no bro joke

A recently created meme on Facebook asks “If American women are outraged at Trump’s use of naughty words, who in the hell bought 80 million copies of 50 Shades of Grey?” This equates the choice to read erotica with deserving to be sexually assaulted.

Calling Donald Trump’s words “naughty” is a way to minimize the nature of the crime of sexual assault. Grabbing a woman’s genitals is no bro joke. It is not harmless fun, and it isn’t “locker room talk,” or “what men do,” or what women deserve. It is sexual assault. If you still can’t understand why American women are outraged by Trump’s behavior toward women, I will tell you.

We are outraged because we have been sexually assaulted by men who think they have a right to grab our pussies, feel our breasts, or squeeze our buttocks just because they have the urge.

We are outraged because our friends, sisters, mothers, and daughters have also been sexually assaulted by men who think they have the right to invade our bodies at whim and will.

We are outraged that Trump is a sexual predator who objectifies and degrades women and girls, and gets away with it because he is “a star.” We are outraged that so many seem to have little problem with that, and even minimize and justify it.

We are outraged because our “justice” system allows convicted sexual abusers and rapists like Brock Turner receive greatly reduced sentences because they are White, or athletes, and therefore a judge doesn’t want “a few minutes of pleasure” to ruin their lives, even though they ruined the lives of the people they violated in a most personal and damaging manner.

We are outraged because one in four American girls and one in seven American boys are sexually assaulted or raped before age 18.

We are outraged because one out of every six American women is subjected to rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.

We are outraged because most of us will be sexually assaulted at least once in our lifetime.

We are outraged because an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes.

We are outraged that so many people, male and female, make light of sexual assault and rape and downplay the effect it has on the victims, when 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.

We are outraged because there is too little help for victims of sexual assault and rape. We are left to figure out for ourselves how to recover as best we can, or, most often, to suffer alone and in silence.

We are outraged because the dominant culture is a rape culture, which validates, promotes, and humorizes sexual abuse while condemning those who dare to speak up.

We are outraged because too many of us live in fear of being sexually assaulted or raped by strangers, and by the men we know.

We are outraged that the suffering of sexual assault and rape victims is minimized and dismissed.

We are outraged that after we are assaulted or raped, the police and courts treat us as if *we* are the criminals.

We are outraged that our friends and family members ask us questions like “Why did you let him…?”

We are outraged that the shame of sexual violence is too often put on the victim, instead of the criminal.

We are outraged because sexual assault and rape are such pervasive crimes that if they were caused by a virus, they would be considered an epidemic, and yet, few resources are dedicated to stopping these crimes or helping victims recover.

We are outraged that the lives of too many of our sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, friends, and colleagues are forever affected by violent crimes rooted in the concept that males have the privilege to do whatever harm they want to female bodies.

We are outraged that the world is nearly silent regarding male-on-male rape, and too many of our brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, friends, and colleagues are forever affected by violent crimes rooted in the concept that males have the privilege to do whatever harm they want to other male bodies.

We are outraged by the pervasiveness of the attitude that women are here for men to grab and rape as they please, and if we don’t like it we are humorless and frigid bitches. These men expect us to hush up and let them take whatever they want from us, even our own bodies. A lot of people–male and female–are currently defending that mentality, which means they agree that women should submit to male sexual assaults and pretend it’s alright.

We are outraged because too many people try to dismiss our outrage by characterizing it as unreasonable when outrage is the only reasonable response.

We are outraged that men are largely silent on the issue of sexual assault and rape. They decline to speak up about objectification of women and continue to laugh at bro jokes, cartoons, and stories that degrade us.

I have seen some men speak against this, but not many. Apparently, a lot of them are silent because it’s more important to avoid breaking the bro love by calling a rapist a rapist and a sexual predator a sexual predator than to acknowledge the real and horrific impact of rape and other sexual predation. As our fathers, brothers, sons, friends, and coworkers, men should be outraged, too.

#NotOkay

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