Women everywhere have had enough of sexual harassment. The issue, of course, isn’t confined to males harassing females, but that’s the situation that most often unfolds.
To that end, throughout recent weeks and months, numerous women have come forward with their stories of abuse at the hands of various powerful men, with most of those credibly accused promptly losing their jobs.
There’s one figure who has so far evaded accountability for his credibly alleged actions, however, and that’s President Donald Trump. Trump has been credibly accused by numerous women of harassment and/or assault, and yet he continues to occupy the Oval Office anyway.
That does not mean, however, that all those in his orbit have been able to escape accountability.
Staff secretary Rob Porter resigned recently after domestic violence and abuse allegations surfaced against him from two ex-wives, and although some Trump officials backed off in their vocal support after the evidence mounted against him, the president did not.
One of Porter’s ex-wives, Jennie Willoughby, has now published a response to the president and his associates rushing to defend Porter that’s worth reading.
In the piece, published by TIME, Willoughby describes the fact that considering the president’s history, it’s not as though she was surprised when he said, essentially, that he didn’t believe her and repeatedly highlighted her former husband’s claims of innocence.
After initial comments offered in person to reporters — and also following the resignation of a second staffer in the face of abuse allegations — Trump took to Twitter to whine about the supposed lack of “due process.”
Of this, Willoughby wrote:
‘Everyone wants to talk about how Trump implied I am a not to be believed. As if Trump is the model of kindness and forgiveness. As if he readily acknowledges his own shortcomings and shows empathy and concern for others. I forgive him. Thankfully, my strength and worth are not dependent on outside belief — the truth exists whether the President accepts it or not.’
Trump, outside of the situation with Porter, is the guy who is so willing to abandon reality, to the point of having been documented to have lied thousands of times since taking office, so Willoughby’s comments are very on point here.
She went on to say, though, that she doesn’t believe that Trump’s defense of her husband is where the issue ends.
Since, after all, it’s not as though he got to his position on his own, the issue with his defense of Porter is an issue inherent in the society at large.
As she put it:
‘It’s as if we have a societal blind spot that creates an obstacle to understanding. Society as a whole doesn’t acknowledge the reality of abuse… Rather than embarrass an abuser, society is subconsciously trained to question a victim of abuse. I would call it an ignorant denial based on the residual, puritan, collective agreement that abuse is uncomfortable to talk about.’
She added that, in spite of the president’s inclination to the contrary, “If someone finds the strength and courage to come forward, he or she is to be believed. Because that declaration only came after an uphill battle toward rebirth.”
In the case of the president, he’s long sought to destroy the credibility of those accusing him of abuse, so him doing so at an only slightly less intense level in the case of Rob Porter is not new for him.
It’s all a part of his overall disconnect from reality, something that the country would do well to stay away from.
We’ve got the 2018 midterm elections later this year and a presidential election in about three years time, and with Trump’s approval rating staying consistently quite low, he’d do poorly to think of his victory as certain.
Featured Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images