And I know this election was hard. There was no great candidate. Sometimes democracy feels a little like trying to decide which venereal disease you'd like to have for the next four years. I don't envy my American friends who had to go to the polls without much faith in either side.
But as a survivor of sexual assault, Trumps presidency hurts.
Sixty million people went to the polls last Tuesday and decided that a man who brags about sexual assault deserves the highest title in the land.
Sixty million people chose to elect a man who brags about using his power and authority to grab women by their genitals.
And 81% of evangelical Christians, my people, my brothers and sisters in Christ, decided that a man with multiple sexual assault allegations against him, who dismisses these things with a "boys will be boys" attitude, is an acceptable leader of their country.
And I've heard the arguments. That they weren't voting for trump, they were voting for the party. That they were voting for policies over personalities. That they were voting their conscience. And I have no desire to tell people that they voted wrong. But I can tell you how I feel, and I feel dismissed, demeaned and betrayed by the American public.
Friends, this matters. This matters to me because I was raped. This matters to me
because I am raising 5 daughters and a son in a world where rape is dismissed as locker room talk. This matters because the most conservative estimates state that 1 in 6 American women have been victims of sexual assault. This matters because two thirds of sexual assaults go unreported, often because victims feel unsafe and unheard. This matters to me because I have sixty million neighbours who consider sexual assault not to be a big enough deal to disqualify a man from the presidency.
With Brock Turners swim times still fresh in our minds, the message being sent is that it's okay for rich and powerful white men to commit sexual assault.
This is rape culture. And please don't tell me that rape culture isn't a thing. Don't tell me that our culture doesn't normalize and excuse sexual assault after a man who brags about his sex crimes has been awarded the most honorable job in the country. If rape wasn't normalized and excused in our culture, Trumps name never would have made it to the ballot.
It's too late for America to vote differently. But it's not too late to change how we think and talk about sexual assault in our society. It's not too late to start expecting our leaders to talk about women in a way that affirms our value and worth apart from our sexuality. It isn't too late to stop making excuses for grown men who commit heinous crimes. It isn't too late to create a society where victims feel safe to report what has happened to them.