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This is Your Audience Trump, & We Aren’t Happy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

As I listened to the hot mic tape of Donald Trump talking with Billy Bush, a pit formed in my stomach. I felt so dirty while listening that I had to take out my earphones to stop the chill running down my spine. No matter how I felt about the video, it was now everywhere and I couldn’t get away from it. It was being quoted, being persecuted and being defended. The internet had become a battlefield and many friendships were lost that day.

Trumps rebuttal was swift. Before the second presidential debate, Trump met with several women that had previously accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. If those accusations are true, then I truly feel for these women and admire their strength for standing up. If the accusations are false then… don’t even get me started. Soon after the meeting between Trump and the Clinton accusers, another wave of accusations were being made, but the smoking gun had moved from Clinton, to Trump himself. Now here we are, looking at the same level of indecency but occurring in front of two very different populations of people.

The power and attitude of white, wealthy men hasn’t changed but their audience has.  When Bill Clinton was accused of sexual assault, his people went on offense and instead of defending Clinton, they attacked the women. And oh what an impressive line they had. They brought up the accusers’ background and sexual histories as reasons for why these accusations were false. They used name calling, such as trailer trash, claiming all you needed to do was run a 100 dollar bill through a trailer park to get an accusation, to discredit the women. And in a culmination of impressive shaming, Clinton’s advisor James Caravelle labeled the stream of accusations as the bimbo eruption. All the while the American people accepted this. With the Clinton smirk, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. These women must have been making these accusations for fame or financial gain.

Now Trump, in 2016, won’t get away that easily. The similarities between Clinton’s accusations and Trumps are spine chillingly similar. Both groups of accusers have little evidence or witnesses. None of the victims immediately went to the authorities or reported a crime. Trump and his people attempted the same path as Clinton, go after the accuser. That type of abuse isn’t going to fly here anymore. The culture of sexual assault has advanced since Clinton’s presidency, and Generation X is not going to accept that kind of action. We don’t blame or judge the victim.

Generation X will no longer support a rape culture. Women are taking back their bodies and taking back their sexuality. We will no longer encourage male sexual aggression and support violence against women. Men and women are fighting for safer streets, workplaces and social gatherings. No longer will we ask what the victims were wearing and no longer will we ask if the victims let themselves become too drunk. We will no longer ask if they were asking for it and we will no longer let silence mean yes.

No matter how long ago Trump said this, we are addressing it now, and we will not tolerate it.

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Ashlyn Donnahoe

Cal Poly '18

Ashlyn Donnahoe is a senior at Cal Poly SLO majoring in English with a minor in Child Development. After college, she hopes to teach kindergarteners how to be super adorable and read Dr. Seuss for a living. Ashlyn has loved writing since she was young, debuting her talents as a second grader with her first book The Very Fat Cat (trademark pending). These days Ashlyn spends most her time watching Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and adding to her ever-growing indoor plant collection.
Gina was formerly the Beauty & Culture Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw content and strategy for the site's key verticals. She was also the person behind @HerCampusBeauty, and all those other glowy selfies you faved. She got her start in digital media as a Campus Correspondent at HC Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated in 2017 with degrees in English and Theater. Now, Gina is an LA-based writer and editor, and you can regularly find her wearing a face mask in bed and scrolling through TikTok.