THE BLOG

Grabbing Pussy Is Not OK, Mr Trump - How A Blatant Misogynist And Sexual Predator Is Elected President Beggars Belief

15/11/2016 11:41

That, now, infamous phrase 'grabbing pussy' resonated because it's happened to me twice; each time it was vile; each time the perpetrator got away with it. I had an exhibition on Dray Walk, off Brick Lane, the buyer came to collect the work and saw another of my paintings depicting a naked figure with her hand protecting her modesty; he grabbed my crotch in response laughing as he did so. Of course I recoiled, was angry, felt violated and wish he didn't own my work. The second time was again on Dray Walk, I was on my way to a meeting and a man on a bike whizzed past and pressed his hand against my vagina before cycling off. It happened so fast I didn't know what to do. Still very shocked, I told the lady I was meeting about what had just transpired and she said, 'Maybe you should dress differently and not attract so much attention.' What put a sack over my head, stop wearing make up, nice shoes/clothes and observing personal hygiene to make myself physically repulsive. Why should I modify and make myself less attractive? Are women who wear the burka and hijab - who dress modestly - less likely to be sexually assaulted? I would beg to differ. Just by being a woman makes you a potential target.

One of the early articles that I wrote for Huffington Post was about sexual assault and it attracted some grotesque comments. The title of the piece referred to the fact that I had lost count of the number of times I had been sexually assaulted. Both men and women questioned my story; some asserted that I was lying. Trust me I have no reason to be mendacious about such matters.

I was first assaulted when I was 17 and my last sexual assault was aged 36. The one time that I took my assaulter to court I lost. One woman was particularly scathing in her comments (which are still online) saying that I didn't deserve empathy because the assaults were superficial, i.e. I wasn't raped. The early assaults that happened when I was a teenager profoundly impacted on my mental health - assault is assault - and can be life changing.

Donald Trump seems indifferent to the women who came forward with their sexual assault testimonials. I have had my pussy grabbed and it's not ok Mr Trump.

2016-11-15-1479173504-6520055-Mypussyisnotupforgrabs.jpg
Drawing of Mia (pencil on paper, 2006 modified in 2016)

Despite public and world outrage at his comments he was still elected and it wasn't just men who elected him, it was women, too.

Why would a woman elect a sexual predator as their president? A man who refers to his daughter as 'a great piece of ass'. In fact I would like to personally ask all the women who voted for him, 'Do you think it's acceptable to sexually assault women?'

Recently I read some of the reasons why Trump supporters voted for him. No one mentioned the sexual assault claims as a reason to revile Trump. Those that voted for him were not deterred by his sexist remarks, and his ascendency to power seems to reflect a world that tacitly tolerates misogyny and the abuse of women. It's going on at every level of our society, behind closed doors and in the public arena.

There can be zero tolerance towards all forms of sexual assault. Rape is not deserved of more empathy than being groped. All of it is abhorrent.

Others will argue that women objectify men and if they make salacious comments about a man's physique how is it different? But anyone who violates a woman or a man, touches them when they do not wish to be touched, it's unacceptable in my book.

If current abortion laws are repealed in the US, Trump says the alternative would be to make individual states decide their own abortion laws - meaning some women will have to travel very far for an abortion, if they an afford to. In effect women will lose control over their bodies and right to exercise choice. Whether you are pro life or not, a woman's body is her own, she should be able to make decisions related to her body and giving birth. What if a teenager is groped, raped and falls pregnant and then wishes to seek an abortion, would Trump be opposed to it? Similarly all these women who have been allegedly assaulted by Trump, it's not headline news anymore, but they are still living with the trauma. Just like Jimmy Saville's victims, a sexual predator who violated scores of girls and worse. He got away with it, but his victims, now middle-aged women, are scarred for life.

Trump has now recruited Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, chairman of Breibart, infamous for its racist and misogynistic content setting the tone and complexion of Trump's administration.

I salute Angela Merkel for sending a firm message to Trump, stating the German government will work with him on the condition that he respects core 'values of democracy, freedom and respect for the law and the dignity of man, independent of origin (and) gender...' asserting the defense of the free world, tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Will other countries turn a blind eye, like the UK it seems, just to curry favour with the new Trump administration despite the insalubrious direction it is heading.

In my work I deal with the body and woman as sexual object, all my figures are faceless because it's about flesh, not the person inside. When you are sexually assaulted you are dehumanised in that instant and reduced to a piece of meat with a hole.

2016-11-15-1479173725-2502386-7blueemaciatednudeforbook.jpg
Headless blue nude paintings (acrylic on canvas 50 x54 inches, 1998)

Now that Trump has been elected he might outwardly modify his tone, but we know what he is and how he thinks about women. It's on tape remember. Men and women voted for him and by doing so endorsed misogyny and elected a sexual predator as their president - what a travesty.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS