Far too often we hear of men who do not believe that sexual assault and domestic violence are real concerns for women. In August, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s son, Eric, told CNBC’s John Harwood that his sister would never allow herself to be the victim of sexual harassment because she is a “strong and powerful woman.” The comments sparked outrage across the country. We couldn’t believe that a man had the audacity to say something so moronic and then double down on it. Now, we are once again hearing of similar comments made by another man and “proud” Trump supporter.
Bud Pierce, the Republican candidate in the race to be governor of Oregon, has ignited a firestorm after saying that educated women are not the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The comments were made during a forum with Democratic Governor Kate Brown at the Portland City Club on Friday. During the event, a City Club member asked Pierce and the governor about a recent report from the Women’s Foundation of Oregon that showed that half of the women and girls in Oregon have reported being victims of sexual or domestic violence. Pierce responded:
A woman that has a great education and training and a great job is not susceptible to this kind of abuse by men, women or anyone.
His comment was so breathtakingly ignorant the crowd gasped and Governor Brown, herself a victim of domestic violence, was stunned.
I’m honestly not even sure where to start,” Brown said. “I grew up in a middle class family. I went to law school. I know what it feels less to be paid less, substantially less, than the male lawyer in the office next to me. This is not just about power. This is about making sure women are not discriminated against because of their gender, because of their race and because of their sexual orientation.
The idea that women can somehow prevent sexual and domestic assaults in any way is ridiculous. Rape and domestic violence is a predators way of demonstrating power over their victims. According to the University of Michigan:
One of the biggest myths about rape is that it happens out of sexual desire. Sexual assault is highly sexualized in our society due to the link between sex and violence prevalent in our culture. Many people have sexual desires, but not everyone commits sexual assault…This mentality leads us to blame the victim and not hold the rapist accountable for his or her actions. Also, perpetrators of sexual assault often plan their crimes. Sexual assault is not simply a “crime of passion” where the perpetrator “loses control”. Rather, sexual assault is about power and control. The perpetrator exerts his or her power over the victim in such a way to take away any control the victim has in the sexual situation.
The reason that men like Eric Trump and Bud Pierce make these asinine comments is so they can blame the victims. Right-wingers often espouse these beliefs that women aren’t victims, but instead active participants in their assaults, both sexual and domestic. It is this line of misogynistic thinking that leads to the rape culture in this country and around the world; and it is an ideology that we must rid ourselves of. Ironically, the only way to change this is through education. But the education of women, instead we must teach our sons to respect women and shine a light on the disgusting rhetoric coming from people like Trump and Pierce.
Featured image via Facebook