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I’m Not a Piece of Meat and Trump Doesn’t Get That    

Article By Peri Winston

I remember the exact moment when my childhood was taken away from me. I was thirteen years old, a middle schooler, unaware of the horrors that filled the streets that I so comfortably lived in. I took my usual route home from school one day, passing by a group of middle-aged men that I thought absolutely nothing of. Until I saw it. I saw the men’s lustful, yearning expressions glaring at my not yet developed body. They were yelling out despicably vulgar comments towards me that I certainly will not repeat here, nor will I ever forget.

I remember looking into their eyes as it happened and feeling shocked beyond belief. How could those men do something so abominable and frightening to me? This instance was when I first questioned my place in this world as a woman. 

It felt like the moment where my naivety was stripped away from me. I started wondering if I was seen more as a sexual item than a human being. This instance was the first of many that have forced me into the sexualized shell that I have become so accustomed to surviving in. Only recently, at nineteen years old, have I found the strength to break out of the shell that consumed my life for so long — but alas, back into the shell I go.

No way will I consider myself safe until Trump is out of office. So, for now, I will play the waiting game with countless other women who feel the same way as I do. I have taught myself to be strong. I have taught myself to toughen up and to roll with the punches, because unfortunately, that is the way our society has trained me to become. It tears me to pieces when I am treated as nothing more than a piece of meat, but I live with it because that is the only way I believe I can survive in this world. And to be honest, I do not stand a chance against the misogynistic pigs that make up a substantial percentage of our population. 

In no way am I condoning sitting on our asses and doing nothing to change our current situation. Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Yes, I know this quote is extremely overused — but it connects perfectly to what I am trying to get at here. Get out there and make the difference that you wish to see for yourself, your friends, your family, your significant other, your pet penguin (who, by the way, WILL be affected if Trump doesn’t get his act together on environmental issues), and for everyone else who is being affected. This elections hurts me. It hurts those in the LGBTQ+ community, African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, people with disabilities, and countless others. As of now, I am worried that I will never be able to grow out of this shell, and I feel depleted.

I fear everyone’s safety. I never thought that I would see the day when I could wholeheartedly say that I am afraid of the president of the United States. How did we get to this point? I’m floored and hurt. But most of all, I am angry. Go out there and help those who are in need of it. Let us stand together and fight for the rights that we all truly deserve. 

Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.
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