With the recent comments Donald Trump has made regarding sexual assault, I've been having feelings.
A feeling of impending doom and a pit at the bottom of my stomach have been constant feelings since Donald Trump made the comment "grab them by their pussy", and then excused it by saying it was "locker room talk".
I've been reminded of all of the times I've been sexually harassed.
The most memorable time that I was sexually harassed when I was young was when I was eleven years old, and on a bus at camp. I've written about this before, and I'll never forget it. A group of teenage boys worked with each other to ensure that not only was I hearing inappropriate sexual remarks from them, but that I was also feeling their hands run up and down my legs.
Fast-forward a few years, to eighth grade, when I was walking home from a piano lesson in my school uniform. A car driving quickly down the street honked at me, while I was dressed in my school clothes. A predatory man found it acceptable to sexually harass a school girl.
Keep going down my timeline, and you'll get to when one of my friends was with me at a shopping district. A car cruising slowly passed honked several times at us, scaring me and making me want to get into a store with other people as quickly as possible.
Just a few months ago, I took a walk in my neighborhood in Dallas, I just wanted to get some sunlight. An older man in a truck honked at me, and when I didn't respond, continued honking until I looked up, and then winked and smiled. I flipped him off, and he laughed, as if it was trivial that he was sexually harassing a teenage girl. On that same walk, just a few minutes later, a car full of late-teen/early 20-something boys slowed down next to me while I was walking. My body immediately tensed up, I felt that dread the creeps up on you when you know something is going to happen that you can't avoid. They followed me while I was walking for few moments, screaming profanities out of their car windows at me, honking their horn. They proceeded to drive off, and that was then end of the situation for them, but not for me. I purposely took a different and more complicated route home, looking over my shoulder to make sure that I wasn't being followed by any predatory men. I got to my street, and ran into the house, up the stairs, and shut my bedroom door, still feeling unsafe.
Several weeks ago, I was in a bookstore, and passed in front of a man. I said "excuse me", and he smiled, a dirty, predatory smile, looked me up and down (in a very obvious way), and said "you fiine" several times.
The instances of sexual harassment recalled above are just a few of the times it has happened to me. A few.
I'm not the only person who has had these experiences, millions of girls/women, PoC, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and disabled individuals have to endure sexual harassment, and one of the candidates for Presidency engages in such harassment.
Donald Trump, a man who is running to be the next leader of the United States, has openly and proudly stated that he sexually harasses women. Not only that, but that he rapes women. I cannot fathom that this man is even in the running for being our next President.