One of the only good things that came out of Trump’s candidacy (for me) is my growing realization that women are groped or physically assaulted far more often than I would have thought. I know about catcalling, as I’ve seen it often, but there’s been a spate of women reporting unwanted touching, fondling, or other kinds of physical assaults on their person. Yesterday I asked one woman friend if she’d ever experienced anything like that. She responded that she’d never been “groped” by a stranger, but that one of her supervisors at work asked her to tie his tie for a formal dinner, and then grabbed her breasts when she did so. In the state where this happened, that counts as fourth-degree sexual assault. (She didn’t report it.)
This kind of assault—for that’s what it is—is described by Freedom from Religion Foundation co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor in an email from the FFRF called “Religious hypocrites grope for excuses for Donald Trump groping.” It doesn’t seem to be on the FFRF website, but was reproduced on Hemant Mehta’s site, The Friendly Atheist.
First Annie Laurie took a survey of her co-workers:
Motivated by the headlines, I conducted an informal poll at my workplace. I approached the 11 other women staffers who happened to be in our offices on Monday at the Freedom From Religion Foundation to ask about whether they’d ever experienced the kinds of gropes several women have testified they endured from Donald Trump.
Ten out of the 12 (including myself) have been groped or had similar unwanted experiences.* The two others had experienced sexual street harassment. One, a runner, said the intimidating catcalls and jeers are constant. I suspect this unscientific survey would be borne out as par for the course nationwide.
She then gives several of the women’s accounts, which are grim, and reports two times when she herself was groped. Annie Laurie then calls out the religious right for supporting Trump while defending “family values” and “morals”, and finally points out that the Bible sanctions sexual assault and abuse, and even the Old Testament God turns out to be a groper and an abuser:
The biblical deity repeatedly denounces women as filthy whores (Ezekiel 16:36-45, among ad nauseam references) and sexually vilifies them (see Proverbs throughout). Most shocking, the biblical deity sexually gropes and abuses women himself (Isaiah 3:16) or threatens to (“I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,” Jeremiah 13:26).
I’d like to take an informal poll like Annie Laurie’s, but among the women readers here. So I ask what she did: “Have you ever experienced the kind of groping some women said that they’d endured from Donald Trump?” If you want to give details, feel free to do so, and also weigh in if you haven’t been groped in this way so we can at least get an idea of the proportion of women who have ever been violated. (Yes, I know there’s sampling bias.)
If you’d like to post under a pseudonym but usually don’t, go ahead, as I’ll approve these “new” posts.
I’m asking because my informal poll was only one woman, but she reported a legal assault, and I have a feeling that this kind of stuff is pretty common.