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Men, women . . . and Trump

The media, social, mainstream and everything in between, have been flooded with justifications, discussions, jibes, insults and everything in between over the proven (by his own words and voice) predatory behaviour of Trump towards women. There are a string of labels attached and debate over the legal definition. I’ve no idea what “skeezing” means, but I can guess: the latest release is a video of Trump “skeezing” on a 10 year-old-girl.

slug-648206_1920

The NSW parliament have labelled Trump “a revolting slug” unfit for public office. I almost agree, although I think slugs are being insulted by the comparison. I won’t insult the many fine men I have known in my life by calling Trump a man – he isn’t a man. Of the male gender he may be, a man he is not.

My concern is not actually with Trump himself – he will get taken care of in due course, I hope. My concern is the fact Trump is not alone.

As unscientific as the numbers may be, a Trump supporter issued forecasts that allege if women did not have the vote, Trump would win the election. Within a very short space of time Twitter was awash with #repealthe19th. The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote.

The Nineteenth Amendment is identical to the Fifteenth Amendment, except that the Nineteenth prohibits the denial of suffrage because of sex and the Fifteenth because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”

Then we have the right-wing pastor Dave Daubenmire terrified of a woman becoming the President because according to him the “immorality of a sinful man” is not as bad as breaking the biblical principle that “when a woman rules over a man …. it’s a sign of the judgement of the Lord”. May I suggest to Dear Dave that perhaps that’s precisely what IS going to happen, because his Lord has judged men like Trump are not fit to rule and when the Lord sees other men supporting Trump, the Lord has decided enough is enough.

More than 3,000 sexual assault survivors have taken out an ad pleading with the Republicans to dump Trump. Author Kelly Oxford took to Twitter encouraging women to share their sexual assault stories. Over a million women answered her call. I read some of those tweets. Girls being groped on public transport at ages as young as nine and ten. For a million women to have been sexually assaulted, there have to have been a fair number of perpetrators. One man alone does not manage that many assaults.

I’ve been pleased to see athletes come out saying the sort of talk Trump claims is “locker room banter” is actually not what constitutes locker room banter in their experience. We need more men to stand up and be counted. To denounce Trump’s behaviour.

When I was young, forty years ago, I believed the genders were equal. It never occurred to me there were men like Trump or the pastor in existence. Then again, I am still stunned over Abbott and his “when they are doing the ironing” nonsense. My initial awakening came during my first management tenure. My female staff asked if they could wear tailored trousers to work. I saw absolutely no reason why not, yet the human resources department ruled only if the women wore a trouser SUIT. Back then, trouser suits were inordinately expensive. It was economically unrealistic to expect my staff to buy trouser suits. I saw nothing wrong with tailored trousers and a nice shirt or (as it was winter) a nice jumper. At the time male staff DID NOT have to wear suits unless they were management. Yes, I won the battle, but the fact the battle even had to be fought opened my eyes a little.

Some time later, at a business women’s networking lunch, a speaker outlined how not so many years before, women had been required to give up work once they married. How had I got to adulthood without knowing any of this stuff, I wondered.

Here we are forty years later and we have a predator running for the most powerful position in the world (some other world leaders might of course dispute the most powerful bit). We have people spouting the Bible and others (or many of the same) wanting women to lose the vote.

This is 2016 – or did I get caught in a time warp?

There is absolutely NO justification in 2016 for Trump’s behaviour. The is absolutely NO justification in 2016 for gender inequality.

In case it has escaped the notice of some members of the male gender, you are only on this planet because a FEMALE gave birth to you. Carried you and protected you in her body for nine months. Fed you from her breasts. How DARE you, those of you who are so inclined, demand that women be second class citizens? How dare you support Trump’s (and those like him) treatment of women? The women who support such nonsense: I have no words at all for you.

Having read as much as I have read over the past few days, I consider myself lucky. I have never been subjected to sexual abuse or assault. The closest I ever came was when I was propositioned by the CEO of the company I worked for many years ago. He assured me he and his wife had an open marriage. I told him I’d believe that when his wife told me, but the answer would still be thanks, but no thanks, I wasn’t interested. I did advise him I did not expect to be fired on Monday for refusing. I wasn’t. End of story. Not all female members of my extended family have been so lucky. While I have seen their pain and know it is real, while I have witnessed the health and psychological aftermath, I can’t feel it myself.

All I can do is say Trump is not a man. A real man doesn’t need to grab women’s parts uninvited. What, I wonder, is the underlying inadequacy of this individual that fuels his behaviour? What then leads him to try to incriminate all other men? His son got in on the act saying it was typical of alpha males. He thinks his father is an alpha male? Heaven forbid! Even his suits fit badly.

New York Magazine has a very informative and detailed article about this, but the take-home message is that before the 1960s there were barely any examples of humans being described as alpha males, the term was restricted to fields like primatology research. Species like chimps and gorillas do have social structures and hierarchies with a dominant individual at the top, typically a male who has achieved that positon via displays of strength and physical prowess. The fact that alpha males exist isn’t disputed, it’s whether humans can actually be such a thing.

Source: The Guardian

An alpha male in the primate world is the pack leader – and pack leaders don’t get that position easily, they have to prove their worth. As leaders and protectors.

Trump refuses to protect 50% of the population, believing that 50% are there for his personal gratification and pleasure.

There are many wonderful men in this world: men who treat women with respect and as equals. May those men flourish and prosper and raise their sons in their image and raise their daughters to have no qualms about placing a knee strategically and forcefully when required.

Don’t anyone come bleating to me about how Islam treats women while the western world even considers making Trump POTUS.

A final word to Dear Pastor Dave. Dave, in all of my life there has been only one man that I ever felt like submitting to and I still have no explanation for that. However, don’t confuse the often inexplicable dynamics of personal relationships on the one hand and how a healthy society should function on the other hand. Oh, and if Hillary wins? Well, I guess your Lord passed judgement.

Edited to Add: I have recalled another incident when I was 15. After my parents passed, I was in a foster home. I asked my foster father to cash a cheque for me. It was a Saturday, before ATMs. He suggested if I sat on the bed with him, he’d give me the money and I didn’t need to give him the cheque. I declined and moved out about a week later. The executor of my father’s will sent me to a psychologist as he didn’t believe me. I still consider myself fortunate – neither incidents involved physical contact of any sort.

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48 comments

  1. wam

    wow robyn you have led a sheltered life. my darling has saved many a boss from embarrassment and received quiet thank yous. The majority are ‘trumpish’ true he is larger than life more cras and undoubtedly a slimy skeezer but closer to the norm. than any man or woman in this group.
    The ultimate compliment for trumpites is the minister who said
    better to grab a vagina than have one

  2. Robyn Dunphy

    Wam, I can assure you my life hasn’t been sheltered – I’ve just been fortunate I suppose. I just read this: http://people.com/politics/donald-trump-attacked-people-writer/ Even the writer doesn’t know why she didn’t thump him. I can honestly say I have not run into that ‘trumpish’ majority of which you speak – and I have worked in a lot of organisations, many male-dominated. Even so, my personal good fortune (for want of a better description) doesn’t mitigate in any way this very disturbing situation.

    I agree entirely with you as far as this group is concerned! LOL Rather preaching to the converted with AIMN readers, 🙂

  3. Jexpat

    Trump wasn’t worth the embarrassment of NSW Parliament lowering themelves to his level.

  4. Pappinbarra Fox

    So Harq, does that mean Trump does not believe in Intelligent design? There goes his Xtian constituency.

  5. Robyn Dunphy

    Harquebus, thank you for that article. I find it rather depressing. From the same article:

    ” This is not about rape. Women are willing participants in this culture of sex and power, and they often have much to gain by indulging males, or at least they may think they do. As Trump said, “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” ”

    While this is very true historically, when women were mere chattels of their father’s and husbands. Unable to own property, be educated, travel, work (in the sense we do now) exchanging sex for food, shelter, protection was a matter of survival. Surely as a species we have evolved, or are evolving? Are we going backwards for forwards?

    I have added Michelle Obama’s Manchester speech above. Michelle sums it up brilliantly. Contrasting her objectives for girls globally with the above article is, I hope, very valid. Where do we want society to be in 50 or 100 years?

    It is doubtful I am alone in this – I have never been remotely attracted to “stars”. With the exception, perhaps, of Ronan Keating. Furthermore, Trump doesn’t rank as any sort of star in my book and never has. According to that article, I must be a psychological anomaly: the concept of being a “willing participant” in such a situation has always been anathema to me. I don’t think I am an anomaly though.

    If I was starving, homeless and penniless would I exchange sex for food and shelter? I would like to think in today’s society such a transaction would not be necessary!

    Pappinbarra – your comment made me smile. His Xtian constituency are rather caught between a rock and a hard place, aren’t they?

  6. Kaye Lee

    A bit off topic, but I think we do our children a huge disservice by our fixation with ‘beauty’. Adolescent girls so often feel they are not pretty enough. Some starve themselves trying to achieve a shape their body will never be. We spend countless billions on make-up and hair dye and skin products to try to hide the signs of aging. The wasted money and the psychological damage caused is incalcuable. Our sons suffer too trying to all look like some muscle-bound Adonis.

    I recently had a discussion with my husband about the difference between sexy and attractive – they are entirely different things in my opinion (though not mutually exclusive). For me, attraction comes from knowing someone – intelligence, humour, honesty, respect, compassion – those are the things I find attractive. That being the case, I find Donald Trump loathesome.

    “The multi-billion dollar cost of looking good
    11 October 2015

    Australians are spending more than $100 billion a year on their looks, according to a Suncorp Bank Cost of Looking Good report.”

    http://www.suncorpbank.com.au/news/multi-billion-dollar-cost-looking-good

  7. Robyn Dunphy

    Hi Kaye! No, I actually don’t think you are off-topic at all. Trump’s denials often include statements along the lines of “Look at her! I don’t think so.” In other words, she didn’t look good enough to be assaulted.

    I would add healthy to your assessment of intelligence, humour, honesty, respect, compassion. We spend all that money on “looking good” whereas we would be better spending it on better food and more exercise. Clearer skin from the inside, if you like, rather than half an inch of foundation.

    I agree sexiness and attractiveness are different. We can find people of either gender attractive without feeling drawn to them sexually. Sexiness is more personal, I think. How often have you and a girlfriend looked at a photo of an attractive guy and one of you finds him sexy, the other goes “Not my type.”?

    “Female” is about Trump’s only criteria it seems. He uses the “oh she isn’t attractive enough” line as a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    I liked Michelle’s speech – as a role model, what is the example he is setting, not only to girls but also to boys? It is NOT the sort of role model I want for young people.

    Not only is he teaching that women have to put up and shut up, he is teaching them his behaviour should be considered normal. On top of that, he is teaching them that looks are all important.

    He is teaching boys that their mothers and sisters (and later wives and daughters) are mere playthings. And to only look for pretty playthings at that.

    You find him loathesome, I’d say abhorrent, but we are are the same track.

    I didn’t even address my concerns about how damn dangerous I think he is – this is a man who could through sheer stupidity have the world at war – and it won’t be a war so easy to recover from.

  8. Robyn Dunphy

    Harquebus, the sex industry has been around as long as the human race and I don’t think it is likely to disappear overnight. However, the question we face here is not whether the sex industry exists, or why it exists.

    The question here is what we expect from LEADERS. I don’t expect Trump.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Trump and his daughter appeared on a chat show where the host asked the daughter what she and her father had in common. The daughter answered golf and real estate. The host then asked Trump who said “Well I was going to say sex.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5zBlmgFFAk

    PS The discussion with hubby was about Michael Hutchence who my husband thinks I should find sexy but I really don’t. For me, being attractive has to come first. I couldn’t care less about looks or gyrations on stage or fame – give me a man who makes me think, who makes me laugh, who makes me trust.

  10. Robyn Dunphy

    Kaye, you are creeping me out. While I happen to think it is healthy when parents and their offspring can rationally discuss sex, having sex “in common” is a whole different mental image. I am avoiding watching that video.

  11. Harquebus

    Hey Robyn

    You asked.
    “If I was starving, homeless and penniless would I exchange sex for food and shelter?”

    I was merely pointing out a new class of women, middle age Japanese who, are now facing that decision.

  12. Caroline

    I could write a thesis on this subject. I will not go into details but I have some experience in this. Until recently I thought that the TARDIS had malfunctioned throwing us back to the 50’s until I read about the Republican Party and their Southern Strategy. All of this makes sense now. The bigotry,the misogeny, all of it. Trump is the inevitable outcome. After all the battles that we fought I honestly never anticipated that we would have to repeat them. It feels like The Great Unravelling. There is an article to be written about how that happened.

  13. Deanna Jones

    Great discussion, Robyn. Thank you. We need people to be saying these things. Things are much worse for us than we feared regardless of how many good men we know, and I do know a few including my own son.

    What really stood out for me is how many men, evidenced by the Twitter campaign you referred to, really want womens struggle for emancipation to devolve. That Trump is even a candidate for this job is utterly chilling.

    My take on Trump’s comment “they let you do it” is that by “they” he does not mean women themselves but society, the establishment etc. This is just how ignorant he is because men, stars and non stars, have been groping women with impunity ever since I can remember. This is normative and he is not special in that regard.

    Thanks again for speaking our truths.

    DJ

  14. Deanna Jones

    As for sex work it has always been linked to economic inequality.

  15. Kaye Lee

    There are men and women who choose to attach themselves to celebrity/wealth for personal gain (or temporary thrill) but it rarely goes well in the long run. That is an entirely different issue to someone thinking they can use their status to inflict themselves bodily on other people.

    I remember walking into a pub to pick my husband up from work. A Sydney rugby league team used to drink there and one of the very high profile international players grabbed me, swung me around, and sat me on his lap. When I told him to get his hands off me, he said “Hey, I’m _____”, to which I replied “I don’t give a f*ck who you are” followed by my husband, who had walked over, saying “She’s my wife.” Whilst I appreciated his support in freeing myself, I was offended that my protestations seemed to carry less weight than the fact that I was ‘another man’s woman’.

    Could I add, in those days, women weren’t allowed in the public bar (where my husband worked) so I had gone into the lounge bar, where the footballers had ensconced themselves waiting for the nurses from the local hospital, who they considered theirs to choose from, to arrive.

  16. Robyn Dunphy

    I know, Harquebus, but my view is that having individuals like Trump at the top is never going to allow the situation to change – so I am concentrating on the leadership aspect.

    Deanna, yes, that REALLY shocked me too. Remove the right to vote of 50% of the population? Amazing that such a suggestion should even be considered. Chilling. Even more chilling is that some women support the concept. Like W. T. F?

    I was raised pretty much as an eldest son, I suppose. I drove tractors, worked in the wool-shed etc. It honestly never occurred to me as a child growing up that women/girls were considered anything other than equal. Given I was taught by correspondence school I didn’t even get “hints” from playground interactions. Then I went to a girls’ boarding school – no gender inequality there and most of the boarders were also from the land.

  17. Robyn Dunphy

    Kaye, you are a woman after my own heart! I distinctly remember once telling the man in my life at the time that I didn’t need defending – can’t even remember what it was about now, but I know I said “if I need help, please wait until I ask for it.”

    I remember being in a pub/club years ago and some sporting fraternity drank there – cricket, football, don’t remember. What I DO remember was young women handcuffing themselves to the stars of the day. I thought it was really weird. I also think it makes life difficult for those women who genuinely marry the stars for love as they all get tagged with the WAGS label which I find slightly derogatory. Such behaviour also sends the wrong message to the young men in question. They are told not to “take advantage” yet here are these girls handcuffing themselves. Not that I have anything against handcuffing per se, but to strangers? Not a good message, I suggest.

  18. Kaye Lee

    The WAGS label has become an unfortunate marketing gimmick because many of these women do really good stuff. They should not be consigned to an acronym dependent on what their husband/boyfriend does. It isn’t helped by vacuous reality tv shows and red carpet events focused on how much skin you are revealing. Until women decide what is important, we can’t really expect men to. Family is important, job is important, community is important, the environment is important, world peace is important – physical beauty is not.

    I should add that my husband is a man I really respect who knows how to deal with situations to get best result with minimum fuss. I didn’t resent his back-up, I resented a society that made it necessary.

  19. Kyran

    “a Trump supporter issued forecasts that allege if women did not have the vote, Trump would win the election.”
    Wasn’t that Eric Trump?
    “Donald Trump’s son Eric has caused controversy after sending a fundraising email to supporters claiming “all the momentum is on our side” and referencing a map showing what the election would look like if only men voted.
    The email, titled Momentum, read: “As one of the most dedicated grassroots leaders in the country you know, momentum matters. And right now all the momentum is on our side.”

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjulZqOytnPAhVK1GMKHcH9BVAQqQIIHDAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2016-10-13%2Feric-trump-claims-donald-momentum-with-map-of-only-male-voters%2F7928526&usg=AFQjCNEvCeqQ9-Jcitvcco1hew8PaxqXLg

    What annoys the bejesus out of me is that the conversation remains about trump. Not his idiocy, his stupidity, his incompetency. His ‘celebrity’. His entitlement to grope or grasp anything he see’s fit, due to his celebrity.
    His blatant attempt at winning a presidency, by virtue of his celebrity, is a disgrace.
    What annoys me more so, is that this git is dictating, through a very compliant media, the terms of the conversation.
    Notwithstanding brandy being our AG, how about ‘our government’ do their job?
    This should be a time when our AG defines equality, defines aspiration. This should be a time when our AG does his job.
    I understand his credibility is challenged. I understand his spine is un-challenged, due to its absence..
    Can you imagine a time when the AG would defend the rights of women? When he would use the git to defend such rights?
    As long as trump is the conversation, you ‘womenfolk’ better understand your place.
    Thankyou, Ms Dunphy. Take care

  20. Kaye Lee

    Kyran,

    There are many conversations going on here. Trump’s unsuitabliity to be President is patently obvious to everyone. Why he has progressed this far makes us ask questions about our society and women feel a dam breaking need to vent. We need to be listened to. We need to change both our view of ourselves and how society views us. Trump can’t win but he should be a wake up call to a society that must change. Every experience, good or bad, teaches us things. Let us learn and grow from the Trump experience.

  21. Robyn Dunphy

    Caroline – glad I am not the only one stunned! Would love to read that article or thesis when you get it done!

    Kyran – Kaye has summed it up beautifully, The underlying question is how the hell did we get to this point? Trump is a symptom, not the actual problem. Yes, I have since discovered the initial circulation was by his son, but that wasn’t my initial source.

    Kaye – agree re the WAGS label. Very unfortunate. On the matter of your husband, I can’t imagine you being with someone you didn’t respect, 🙂

  22. silkworm

    Trump is a sexual psychopath. His comments regarding his own daughters remind me of Abbott’s regarding his, that they were “not unattractive.” Abbott was also known to be a fondler of women when he was on the campaign trail, though not on the scale of Trump.

  23. Joan Baez

    Can someone direct me to a photo of that T shirt– “Better to grab….” I want to expose the Trump buffoonery.

  24. Kyran

    “We need to be listened to. We need to change both our view of ourselves and how society views us. Trump can’t win but he should be a wake up call to a society that must change.”

    I was, perhaps, clumsy in my expression. My intent was to express a desire that this relic, this fossil, becomes the incentive for such a change. The conversation has become about his extraordinary views, which clearly belong in a past century. As Ms Dunphy says;
    “This is 2016 – or did I get caught in a time warp?”

    In Australia, there are still conversations being had about abortion and whether or not it should remain a criminal offence. It is dealt with at a state level and every state has a different idea about how it should be dealt with. This is a ludicrous situation in a country with a population of only 24mil. Why aren’t the Miniature for Women’s Affairs and the A-G enshrining national laws so that every woman in Australia is availed of the same rights, with no prospect of ‘criminality’ interfering with their (or their doctors) decisions?

    DV is a subject that has been discussed, studied and deliberated on for decades now. Victoria has recently upgraded much of its ‘system’ in dealing with this horrific problem. Many of the recommendations made by the recent RC were not surprising or new. What was a game changer was the political will to fund the necessary changes. Once again, we have a ludicrous situation where the rights of women have different values depending on your geography. Why aren’t cash and brandy insisting this is a national disgrace and acting on it?

    In Australia, there are still conversations being had about equality of pay and conditions for women. Whilst this is a complex subject, at its very base is the premise that Australia couldn’t afford parity for women. Ironically, the very industries that benefit from this inequity are health and education. The fundamental premise should be that we can no longer afford to ignore it.

    In Australia, there are still conversations being had about women in politics, particularly their numbers. Ms Gillard recently described the risks inherent in the role of women in public life. Her ‘misogyny’ speech should have been a clarion call. Regrettably, it is now only a fond memory of when our leader called it as it was (and is). It can come as no surprise that brandy and cash will be the two attacking the likes of Ms Triggs, whilst professing an intent to protect the rights of women in authority. For a bit of comedic relief, you can’t go past banana’s.

    “The Nationals federal parliamentary party has 21 members, including three women.
    The Liberal Party recently agreed to a 10-year strategy to significantly boost female representation in Parliament.
    Asked what plan the rural-based party had, Mr Joyce said he previously mentored staff who later entered federal and state parliaments.
    “Scotty Buchholz, although I must admit he’s not a woman, Matt Canavan, [Danny] O’Brien — they’re three people who’ve gone through my office,” he said, referring to the Queensland federal MP, Queensland Senator and Victorian state politician.
    “I’ve got a good track record of bringing people through and now I’m going to make sure that I do the same thing and bring through some [women].”

    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjL0u6op9vPAhXFlJQKHcu2BpsQFgggMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2016-10-13%2Fjoyce-talks-about-male-politicians%2F7929558&usg=AFQjCNEstQQhIoY7dp_QabE9psSlGy1ZsQ

    As Ms Dunphy says, rump is but a symptom. The problems have, largely, been identified, as have many of the solutions. What is needed now is the political will for change. “We need to be listened to”.
    As Matthew Henry said, “None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.”
    I guess he didn’t know that that would become the employment criteria for our leaders.
    Take care

  25. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, they are deplorable. (Am I allowed to use that word?)

  26. Deanna Jones

    silkworm it is very dangerous to view trump as psychopathic for his views of women and behaviours towards women. This view allows us to write him off as just an exception to the norm. He does this himself; he brags about how he is so special he gets away with it. The reality is that this is normative behaviour. A million women answered the Twitter call to share their experiences of men’s sexual predation and assaults. If you write trump off as an exception or blame his behaviour on mental illness then it blinds you to the fact that this is a commonplace, global, systemic issue that a lot of women have had a gut full of.

    Robyn, as far as women supporting trump, I agree, very disappointing. I think many women internalise the values of the dominant classes and feel that the safest way to survive this shit is to comply.

  27. Exoplanet

    ‘I think many women internalise the values of the dominant classes and feel that the safest way to survive this shit is to comply.’

    And men too, btw.

  28. Josh

    Remember the song Basketball Jones I have new words for it .

    Neanderthal Trump I gotta Neanderthal Trump I gotta Neanderthal Trump oh baby oo oo oooo
    Yes, I am the victim of a Neanderthal Trump
    Ever since I was a little baby, I always be dribblin’
    In fact’, I was de baddest dribbler in the whole neighborhood
    Then one day, my papa bought me a 7 Million
    And I loved that Dough
    I took that Moolah with me everywhere I went
    That money was like a power to me
    I even put that cash underneath my pillow
    Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep at night
    I need help, ladies and gentlemen’s
    I need someone to stand beside me
    I need, I need someone to set a pick for me at the free-throw line of life
    Someone I can pass to
    Someone to hit the open man on the give-and-go
    And not end up in the popcorn machine
    So cheerleaders, help me out
    {cheerleaders sing repeatedly…}
    (,Neanderthal Trump I got a Neanderthal Trump )
    (I got Neanderthal Trump a oh baby, oo-oo-ooo)

    Someone else can finish the song if they like

  29. Deanna Jones

    Expoplanet, I’m just talking about women, specifically, here.

  30. Exoplanet

    Deanna,

    I know but I don’t think it’s meaningful to do so. Men contribute to this exact problem through their own submission to dominant values. For me it’s a global, human problem, not a gender one.

  31. diannaart

    @ Robyn Dunphy

    I only just got to read your article today. Been away.

    Women are still not believed!

    Robyn, your memory:

    I have recalled another incident when I was 15. After my parents passed, I was in a foster home. I asked my foster father to cash a cheque for me. It was a Saturday, before ATMs. He suggested if I sat on the bed with him, he’d give me the money and I didn’t need to give him the cheque. I declined and moved out about a week later. The executor of my father’s will sent me to a psychologist as he didn’t believe me. I still consider myself fortunate – neither incidents involved physical contact of any sort.

    I don’t think sexual predation, like many aspects of life, is spread evenly over the population, some of us probably got your share of sexual abuse – and may you remain relatively unscathed.

    I tried to describe a totally weird day that occurred during an equally bizarre week of being hit upon by various men – I actually toned down a lot of what happened – even so I have been tarred as a liar, seeking attention and loads of other (un)helpful abuse.

    I was even accused for deliberately entering a conversation late – when a thread had been judged by my abusers to have run its course, in order to derail the conversation.

    If I wanted to derail anything – I would begin early, but logic does not come into any thinking when a woman (or it could be a man in similar situations – but MOSTLY it is women) tries to add their experience to a topic.

    I have entered this thread a little late. I am not trying to seek attention, not derail topic. I just want to be clear to those who have called me a liar – I will speak out against any type of abuse, sexual or just bog-standard bullying.

    I believe that statistics on sexual predation are far less than reported. Most people prefer to get on with their lives – it is far too traumatic to seek justice when a person has to repeat what happened over and over and over again. This means the following:

    Either there are a few people very, very busy abusing huge numbers of other people,

    or

    Sexual predation is as common as… well, losing one’s temper, disliking someone, feeling superior to someone,

    and/or

    a perp just does not believe their actions are abusive, unwanted or even offensive.

  32. Deanna Jones

    Exoplanet, yes it is helpful for us if you hadn’t noticed and yes it is a gender thing.

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Robyn,

    for this important discussion.

    Trump has taken his campaign to the point of no return by revealing himself to be a lecherous embarrassment to anybody associated with him.

    He has a talent for insulting social mores and values that even the most conservative or ignorant cannot condone unless they are stupid, so he is defeating himself very well.

    This gives real stars like Michelle Obama a perfect platform to advocate the great values of gender equality between women/girls and men/boys.

  34. Deanna Jones

    Jennifer, I love what you’re saying, but we have been advocating the values of gender equality for decades, if not centuries now. We might need to do more.

  35. Kaye Lee

    The amazing thing is that we are all so distracted by Trump’s behaviour that we don’t focus on his policies – he has none. Well none beyond Abbott style shirt-fronting. He was asked about cyber security…it was humiliating. Like Brandis on metadata or Abbott on the interwebby thingo that Malcolm invented. The ONLY people who are still supporting Trump are angry people who are either looking for a miracle or a scapegoat.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye and Deanna,

    I’ve just been arguing Trump v Clinton with someone who purports to support Jonnson, Stein and sadly Trump.

    If that means a watering down of the Clinton vote to a winnable level for alternative, reformist and equitable political change in US and then AUS, then VERY good.

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It might be that Trump is a political ploy to rob Clinton from power and to install Stein or another.

    Whoever takes the batten deserves the poison that goes with it.

  38. Harquebus

    “The ONLY people who are still supporting Trump are angry people who are either looking for a miracle or a scapegoat.” — Kaye Lee

    The only people who are still support Hillary Clinton are the gullible and the brainwashed easily influenced.
    Donald Trump represents a Hollywood culture that has captured Wall Street and Washington.
    Hillary Clinton represents a corrupt establishment that has captured the U.S.
    To my mind, it is Trump and economic collapse or Clinton and WWIII.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Harquebus,

    I read the Lynn Landes article and whilst I understand her motivations to support an anti-globalisation ticket, I think she and her ilk are missing one key factor and that is who is representing that stance. Trump is NOT your or my equivalent US friend. Trump exploits people to gratify his own ego.

    I will say one thing though. I despair that the only other obvious choice is Clinton who I agree is a neoliberal exploiter in sheep’s clothing.

    I take notice that even Stein would rather Trump than Clinton but then that makes me wonder about political allegiances between parties.

    One thing is for sure, if there is a way for thinking and feeling Americans to meander the mire of American politics, they must choose even a quiet candidate with good, equal opportunity and environmental values.

    Likewise, Stein is still in the race. She is such a candidate that stands for good environmental and societal values that will bring reform for the better for the 99%.

    I’m glad I’m not American coz this is a very, very serious decision that puts the weight of the world on every American’s vote.

  40. Harquebus

    Jennifer

    I agree.

    Also, witnesses have come forward to dispute a couple of the sexual harassment claims against Trump. The U.S. media have abandoned any attempt at impartiality and are now in full support behind the bankers choice in Hillary Clinton.

    Here is another subject that I have been following that has not appeared in MSM. I think you might be interested. Although it is not about Trump or Clinton, it does provide another example of MSM bias.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/amy-goodman-is-facing-prison-for-reporting-on-the-dakota-access-pipeline-that-should-scare-us-all/

    “True courage is the path of the spirit-driven activist…the warrior of truth…the status quo crusher.” — Deb Ozarko

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes H,

    I have become aware of the threat to Amy Goodman’s liberty in her pursuit of her doing her job correctly and with integrity.

    It is the neoliberal way of exploiting the gradations of what is legal, ethical, acceptable and decent. Neoliberals are successful at redefining the language that explains (rather exploits) the circumstances.

    The first course of action is to negate neoliberals’ exploitation of language that muddies the minds of the people’s understanding.

  42. Harquebus

    Jennifer
    The internet and the alternative media is something that the powers that be did not expect. Perhaps there is hope.
    Cheers.

  43. Annie B

    Entering a bit late here … but all kudos to you Robyn for writing an excellent article, and one that has opened up a large range of good commentary. … Super great.

    Throwing in a small aside here – – I frankly don’t think the Trump thingy, actually WANTS the position of President – certainly not for the long term ( more than a couple of months at best !! ).

    It would grossly interfere with his addicted seeking of publicity – on his terms … as he would be subject ( as POTUS ) to what he can and cannot do, say – not say – by other agencies and advisors …. not something he would want, respect or adhere to. …. I wonder if he has twigged yet, that the position of President is but a figure-head … the country is ruled otherwise. … Don’t think he’d be into that too much 😉

    The only other comment I have – is that Trump is the epitome of low life – for men ( as he allegedly has the genitals that makes him male – but not the balls, as such ) … and for women, who he denigrates and demeans at every opportunity.

    Lower than low life …….. is he.

  44. Harquebus

    It is only the second sentence from this article that is of relevance to this conversation. I just thought that Robyn and others might be interested in the mindset that is Saudi Arabia.

    ““Will you continue to use cluster weapons in Yemen?” we asked Prince Abdullah Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.
    “This is like the question, ‘Will you stop beating your wife?’” Al-Saud responded, letting loose a bellowing laugh.
    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/01/saudi-ambassador-to-the-u-s-vows-to-keep-hitting-yemen-no-matter-what/

    Then there’s this:

    “However, most perversely, in what was clearly a politically-motivated choice, Saudi Arabia sailed through the Asian regional ballot with 152 votes, and will sit on the UNHRC alongside China, Japan and Iraq for the next three years.”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-29/russia-kicked-out-un-human-rights-council-saudi-arabia-reelected

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