Whatever your political leanings, the actions Trump’s leaked comments from 2005 described are sexual assault; they described sexual contact without asking for or receiving consent.
Kelly Oxford, like many others, took to the internet to process her feelings, and in doing so she created something both beautiful and horrifying, which, I think, is the best possible thing we can create out of a situation such as this one.
Oxford later tweeted that in 14 hours she received no less than 50 tweets per minute, every minute. An unbelievable outpouring of people spoke up and spoke out about what happened to them and how it was #notokay. Oxford said she had “9.7 million twitter interactions” according to CBS News. Reading the feed, which can be most easily done by looking at Kelly’s liked tweets here: https://twitter.com/kellyoxford/likes is exceedingly painful. It can lead to an overwhelming range of emotions from disgust at the world to rage to reliving past trauma.
The stories these tweets tell are terrible. They show the worst parts of our world. However, that so many took to their keyboards to tell their stories is incredible. A huge part of rape culture in America is the shame and stigma and fear associated with speaking out about assault. Many survivors of sexual assault do not talk about their experiences for years because of the trauma and also the shame associated with it. To have a huge outpouring of people not only sharing their stories, but acknowledging firmly that what happened was not okay despite the attached stigma or feelings of shame or guilt is nothing short of amazing. Every person who tweeted a story was using their voices to speak out against a prevalent and complex issue by making themselves vulnerable in the world’s most public way. I commend every one of them on their bravery. We can all wish that we lived in a world where these assaults never happened, but since we have yet to achieve that goal, the most beauty we can find around topics like this is something like Kelly Oxford’s twitter timeline. That timeline became one of the, if not the, largest, most diverse, most widespread support networks for survivors of sexual assault, and for a social media platform that is often in the news for problems with hate or inappropriate speech, the triumph of gathering all these stories to stand against those who would write off sexual assault as “locker room talk” is incredible.
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