Donald Trump Misunderstands and Misuses 'Rape'

2020-02-23 09:14:12    阅读:643210

IDEAS Bates is the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project and the author of Everyday Sexism After a presidential candidate has made repeated misogynistic comments, accused his opponent of playing the woman card and suggested that women who have abortions should be punished, what else can he do to alienate female voters? Apparently, if youre Donald Trump, the answer is simple: start throwing around the word rape. Speaking about the trade relationship between the U.S. and China at a rally in Fort Wayne, Ind., Trump said: We cant continue to allow China to rape our country, and thats what theyre doing. Except, of course, it isnt. When you use the word rape to mean taking advantage of another country financially, beating a sports team, logging into someones Facebook account without their knowledge or any of the other common uses that have nothing to do with sexual violence, you dilute the importance of th

e term and belittle the experience of survivors. This is particularly damaging in a culture that too often seeks to discredit survivors and doubts the validity of w

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'Take Her Out. OK?' Recording Reportedly Links Trump to Plans For Ouster of Ukraine Ambassador   This isnt the first time Trump has become embroiled in a row over rape. He was forced to distance himself from his lawyer and top aide Michael Cohen last year, after Cohen claimed it wasnt possible for a man to rape his spouse. Speaking in response to a question about an allegation of rape made against Trump by his former wife Ivana Trump, who later said she did not mean to use the word in a literal or criminal sense, Cohen said: Youre talking about the frontrunner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as a private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you cant rape your spouse. Trump also revealed his breathtakin

g ignorance about the reality of rapenot to mention sweeping racismwhen he suggested that Mexican immigrants to the U.S. were responsible for perpetrating crimes, including rape. In the speech announcing his presidential bid, Trump said: Theyre sending people that have lots of problems, and theyre bringing those problems with us. Theyre bringing drugs. Theyre bringing crime. Theyre rapists

. And some, I assume, are good people. Sign up for Inside TIME. Be the first to see the new cover of TIME and get our most compelling stories delivered straight to your inbox.

  Thank you!  For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. When he later claimed there was a mind boggling link between rape and illegal immigration, CNN host Don Lemon pointed out that Trump had misunderstood a report actually revealing that 80% of women crossing the Mexican border a

re raped along the way. In response, Trump said: Well, somebodys doing the raping, Don! I mean somebodys doing it! Whos doing the raping? Whos doing the raping? If Trump took a moment to consult

some survivor support organizations, he might learn the answer to that q

uestion. Rapists are usually men already known to victims, such as i

ntimate partners, colleagues or friendsnot strangers in dark alleyways. Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have experienced rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives, with more than half of female victims naming an intimate partner as the perpetrator, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. And about 68% of assaults go unreported, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. That under-reporting is one reason why rhetoric like Trumps casual use of the word rape is so damaging. We live in a society that continually doubts, dismisses and disbelieves survivors of sexual violence. Comparing their experience to a financial transaction only serves to belittle it even further.  Survivors already contend with a world in which the word rape is misused or treated as a joke, from adverts to online memes. The more frequently we throw it around out of context, the more we desensitize ourselves to it and even normalize the concept. It sends the message to perpetrators that rape isnt something our society takes seriously, and tells victims that they might not be believed if they come forward.    Spotlight Story Kobe Bryant Had a Singular Impact on His Game and the World Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday, along with his daughter Gianna Ironically, we desperately need presidential candidates, politicians and other public figures to talk more about rape. But we need them to address the problem and suggest ways to solve it, not devalue it by using the word as a metaphor for something else. Contact us at editors@time.com. IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expres

sed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.

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