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When You Support Trump, You Support Rape Culture

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

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, not of Her Campus as an organization. 

To all the people suddenly outraged about Donald Trump based on his comments about women: 

If you have revoked your support for the Republican presidential candidate/fraudulent business man otherwise known as Donald J. Trump after the “Access Hollywood” video leaked, that isn’t enough.

If you think that what Trump said in that video about his celebrity privilege allowing him the right to make sexual advances on women is disgusting, you’re right. If you think that’s the first time he’s promoted or engaged in rape culture, you’re wrong.

During divorce proceedings for Ivana and Donald Trump, Trump’s first ex-wife stated in a court deposition that he raped her in an incident occuring in 1989. She would later change her choice of words–perhaps due to emotional and financial pressure–but what she described was absolutely a sexual and physical assault.

Trump has also been accused of raping a 13-year old girl alongside billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein. This particular lawsuit has some iffy logistical issues to it, but even if Trump did not personally partake in an assault against the individual, he has publically supported and commented on his friendship with Epstein, a registered sex offender. You are who you’re friends with. Rape culture is not just partaking in lewd acts yourself, but being complicit with, or even supporting, the crimes of others. If you are willing to defend someone known for molesting underage girls repeatedly, then you are a part of the problem

In an article originally published in July 2016 (shout out to the Washington Post), here is a detailed list of the accusations of sexual assault committed by Donald Trump. And here is a list of every single deragotory thing he has said about women EVER. 

The man who resembles a cantaloupe more than a politician has always engaged in rape culture PERIOD. He has always said demeaning things about women, including his own wives (because there are so many of them) and daughters (he really wants to sleep with Ivanka, it’s gross) PERIOD. 

I’ve heard the argument that his previous comments about women have been “more subtle” than the conversation in the Access Hollywood tape. That’s honestly just an excuse to condone his disgusting language. Rape culture isn’t always as explicit as saying “grab them by the pussy.” It is the normalization of sexual harassment, of comments like “you can’t rape your spouse.” It is the promotion of false education, of encouraging a culture that favors shaming and silencing victims. Sometimes, implicit is even scarier than explicit because it means the message can seep more easily into the brains of the masses without being critiqued as heavily. 

The longer this country allows this man to have a platform, the more we allow rape culture to be propogandized. The more people that will think this is acceptable behavior…and the more people that feel encouraged to engage in the every day harassment of women. It’s not just sexual assault that this language promotes–it’s giving men the idea that they have the right to yell at you on the street, to “accidentally” rub their boners against you on the subway, to make suggestive comments to you in the workplace, etc etc etc.

Rape culture has been running for president since June 2015. I’ve been disgusted by this man for a long time, but hearing him defend his 2005 comments as “locker room banter” made me so angry I wanted to cry. What he described in that video was sexual assault. As a survivor, to hear that the crimes committed against my body can be passed off as just two guys shooting the shit in a pre-game jaunt brought me to a new level of rage. I will not mince my words any longer. 

If you have ever supported Donald Trump but are just now revoking your support, you’re too late. You support rape culture, and so, I can no longer support you. If I want to live in a world that recognizes sexual assault as an actual issue–and not a right of the rich, white man–then I can’t afford to.

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Jules Wilson


I'm a girl caught between being a Northerner and a Southerner, but currently residing in Music City. My dorm room is covered in tapestries from Bonnaroo, black and white photos of Paris, a Van Gogh painting-in-a-poster, blue and white christmas lights, and an array of Taylor Swift posters (she is queen). My dream is to write for Marie Claire magazine.