This is my final plea before Election Day. On Tuesday, we will choose this country’s next president. This is my final plea against pining for the antiquated values of yesteryear. Against the notion that “boys will be boys.” Against a shameful past that we should refuse to revisit. Against moving backwards, when there is so much more to be done.
This is my final plea against enabling the predator. Against adults telling girls, “Just ignore him. He’s only doing it because he likes you.” Against viewing wealth and fame as a license to commit sexual assault. Against mocking your victims by claiming that they are not attractive enough to assault. Against the thousands of cases of sexual assault that take place on college campuses each year, and for the ones that are never reported. Against breathing life into a culture that believes this is all alright.
This is my final plea against the stance that women and minorities are somehow less valuable members of society. In which Muslims and Syrian refugees are undesirable, but European fashion models are welcome any day of the week.
This is my final plea against the bully on the playground. The bully who made us feel weak and voiceless. The bully who demands that we owe him something for a drink, for a job, or for simply being in his presence. The bully who makes women feel like we are competing in a game we will never win. The bully who whispers, “She deserved it. Did you see what she was wearing/drinking/saying.” The divisive bully who takes up all the physical space he can, because he is vulnerable and grew up in a society where men do not show their feelings
“Donald Trump opened the door to his locker room and showed us that he is a sexual predator and a misogynist.”
This is my defense of the smart girl in class who keeps quiet in order to not appear arrogant or bossy. This is my defense of the heroic warriors who have fought for our right to vote, to own property and a credit card, to make decisions about our own bodies, and to file for divorce. That work shall not be undone by one man’s private murmurs on a bus or his boisterous public declarations in front of millions of Americans.
We know “locker room talk” is code. It’s code for a place, or time, in which men abused, raped and controlled women without consequence. When backhanding a woman or keeping her in her place was an acceptable role between a man and a woman. Donald Trump opened the door to his locker room and showed us that he is a sexual predator and a misogynist. He welcomed Americans into his “locker room,” and we can see the emperor is not wearing any clothes.
We must not be undone by one man’s vitriol, hatred or pitiful insecurities. You see, we have experience with weak men who try to hold their power over us.
A new era of young Americans are creating inclusive workplaces, homes and families, in which women and men are treated as equals in all facets of their lives. We will give our daughters and sons a better example.
This is my final plea for progress. Next week our nation will elect its next president. I hope we will send a loud and clear message about what we stand for and what we will never stand for.
For more information about Danila, you can visit DanilaZidovsky.com.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.