…e silence? This is a time where conservative women need political champions, not spineless cowards. All women inside our political spectrum agree that there isn’t a single woman on the planet that has not experienced sexual harassment. Donald Trump’s candidacy, his foulness toward the feminine mystique, and the fallout with Roger Ail…
I don’t want to, but I have to disagree — I think the general sentiment is true, but the way people self-define “sexual harassment” varies widely enough that some women are confident it’s never happened to them — they even seem sure it never will. And I get this, because there are instances in both my professional and personal life that I look back on now, and I can see that they were wildly inappropriate, but they were innocuous or typical enough at the time that I didn’t address them or even notice them. (Some would argue that if these “offenses” are so ignorable they’re not all that bad; but speaking for myself, I could ignore these things because of how normalized they were in their context; that doesn’t magically make harassment-lite less gross or inappropriate).
This ties into the point you made earlier about “playing nice” with the boys — a lot of girls grow up being told they’re too sensitive or emotional, which basically translates to “your feelings are not to be trusted, and even if you do trust them, you shouldn’t broadcast it or act on them, because that proves you’re too weak/irrational to be equal.” Which, if we want to “play,” is a logic that conditions us to discredit our gut instinct and keeps us from interrogating our own mistreatment and holding people accountable. That’s convenient for one group of people, but it’s not women.
I do think women who genuinely believe sexual harassment is a myth are outliers in both parties. We might have different definitions of it and different ideas about how to combat it, but since we don’t walk around with our voting habits stapled to our foreheads, harassment doesn’t know party lines and most of us do know what it looks like firsthand. Then again, enough women were able to look the other way when the tapes came out and pulled for Trump in spite of that; so I guess acknowledging it’s a problem doesn’t neatly translate to “this is something I won’t tolerate.” Lots of progress to be made, but thanks for writing this — I think we tend to spend more focus and energy on what divides conservative and liberal women, and it would be great to shift that energy toward working together on issues that do unite us. If we start there, we have a much stronger framework to more deeply and compassionately understand the issues we disagree on — maybe some minds will change, maybe not, but we can’t have those conversations if we’re not in the same room.