There it was again: "just get over it". And I knew he was right. There was nothing I could do. The people had spoken. No matter what, they preferred having a bigoted, narcissistic man lead the US to putting a woman in such a lofty position of power. It didn't matter that Trump obviously enjoyed belittling Hillary during the debates: "What a nasty woman!" It was irrelevant that he sees it as male, and particularly, celebrity entitlement, to joke about grabbing women by their private parts just because he feels like it; or kissing them just because he likes kissing pretty women. That's what men do. It's all part of "go sew your wild oats son!"
My husband was curious about my reaction. At least he cares. He said: "I've never known you to follow politics but you've been glued to this election. Why?" He waited when I didn't reply immediately. Then he said what I hesitated to say: "Trump reminds you of your father, doesn't he?"
Despite myself, despite so many years of being strong, despite writing 3 books based on the child sexual abuse I'd suffered at the hands of my father, despite feeling I was about as healed as I could be, I started crying. But these were tears of anger.
"Yes!" I blurted. "That's what it is! Throughout this entire election, all the debates, I watched a man abuse without apologizing, name call, demean, belittle a woman, and always with that supercilious smirk on his face. It sickened me. It reminded me of everything I've tried to forget for over 55 years!"
"Will you ever get over what your father did to you, honey?" my husband asked.
"I'm beginning to think that's impossible," I replied. "You push it down, away. You get on with your life, get involved in other things. You do everything you can to forget. And then something like this election comes along and reminds you of one indisputable fact: it's still a man's world. Men can lie, abuse, deceive, but if they can convince everyone a woman is guilty of the same, they win. And that is something I will never, ever understand nor accept."
Yes, I was hoping Hillary Clinton would win. A win for her would have been a win for women everywhere, not just abuse victims like me, but all the women struggling to prove they are as capable, as talented and as intelligent as men. Other countries...Great Britain, India...have elected brilliant, competent females to the highest positions in the country, but America gave that job again to a man. I wish him and the people of the US the great America he has promised to them.
|Viga Boland is the author of 4 memoirs, 3 of which detail her life as a victim of childhood sexual abuse (incest). All books are available in digital format for all e-readers from her website store.|