Seal of the EEOC

What Would You Do If President Trump Grabbed Your ‘Pussy’? — A Serious Question For Victoria A. Lipnic, Trump’s Acting Chair Of The EEOC

Trigger Warning: I don’t do trigger warnings (yet).

Background

Two days ago I confessed publicly in a post on this blog that I have recently committed a non-violent but otherwise highly illegal felony cyber crime in peaceful protest of a number of things, not the least of which is the fact that US President Donald Trump is a well-documented mysogynist. I am also protesting the fact that I’ve been fired twice in the past year for being autistic, a crime which appears to be perfectly acceptable for employers to commit now, thanks to the fact that Donald Trump is POTUS. Other than Trump himself, the link between these three facts can be found in the person of Victoria A. Lipnic, Donald Trump’s openly anti-Labor fox in the EEOC hen house, who actually gave a (bone-chilling) pep talk on Feb. 9, 2017 to her former colleagues at the offices of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, the notoriously anti-Labor law firm where Ms. Lipnic used to work. One of those former colleagues was Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith, the Seyfarth Shaw attorney who represented the first company to fire me for being autistic (MetLife) in both of the EEOC charges that I wound up filing against that company in 2017. Needless to say, because MetLife had the anti-Labor loyalty of Ms. Lipnic throughout these proceedings, both EEOC charges were resolved in favor of MetLife, a process which my family experienced as so psychologically grueling, that I have actually been comparing it to a gang rape.

Hello Ms. Lipnic,

Victoria_A_Lipnic

Victoria A. Lipnic, President Donald Trump’s Acting EEOC Chair. Image Credit: EEOC webpage

What would you do if one day President Donald Trump grabbed your “pussy” (i.e. vagina)?

Yup, serious question.

[Note: If you’re not familiar with the infamous Access Hollywood hot mic recording in which a 2005 pre-Presidential Donald Trump blathered on about his misogynistic code of personal ethics — he actually boasted about hand raping women (i.e. “grab’em by the pussy”) — you can watch it on YouTube here.]

Would you puke? Scream for help? Would you punch him in the testicles?

Would you feel flattered?

I know, I know, but based on what the President is heard saying in the recording, whenever he grabs a woman by her private parts, it means he thinks she is “beautiful”. We might wonder if across the globe female foreign ambassadors have been trained now to receive this gesture as a compliment, and not merely a sex crime — “…listen, you look nice today, so if he grabs you down there, don’t scream or punch him in the testicles. Just smile and feel appreciated….”

I know, I know, believe me, I do get it. This question I’m asking you probably seems really bizarre, but just how bizarre is it really?

Is it, for example, more bizarre than the fact that we actually gave this shameless woman-hater the keys to the Oval Office and armed him with nuclear weapons and the world’s most powerful military force?

Is it more bizarre than the fact that we don’t boot him to the curb immediately?

Is it more bizarre than the fact that every voting age citizen of the USA isn’t now sitting in a prison cell in (non-violent) protest of Trump’s Presidency and in virtuous fulfillment of Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience Axiom?[1]

I don’t think so.

In fact, I think that precisely because we made this crazy man our President, because we allow him to remain President, because we are not now each of us sitting civilly-disobediently in a prison cell in (non-violent) protest of his Presidency that we are now burdened with the awkward fact that we live in a surrealistic nightmare where this apparently bizarre question I’m asking you is actually not so bizarre after all. Here it is again:

“What would you do if one day President Donald Trump grabbed your pussy”?

Serious question, Ms. Lipnic. What would you do?

Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience Axiom: Why I Am Willing To Go To Prison To Defend The US Constitution

Henry_David_Thoreau_210x259“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” — Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1849

Yesterday I confessed in public to (non-violently) stealing a laptop from a company that just fired me because I’m autistic. This laptop contains protected customer information (e.g. Social Security Numbers) of a great many of my ex-employer’s valued customers, several of whom happen purely by chance to be the same individuals that gang raped me last year (the database is huge, so it’s actually not that strange a coincidence).

(Surprise, surprise, motherfuckers! Betcha didn’t see that one coming.)

Oh, relax — they’re the criminals, not me. I’m actually the last person who would cause any mischief to these people with that data. Yes, I have the data and the laptop, but both are very, very safe, and simply possessing it is all I will ever actually do with it. I’m autistic, for crying out loud, and I take data security seriously in a way only an autistic person could do so. But here’s the thing: I’m not allowed even to possess this data. That’s what you call a cyber crime! That is illegal! I’m an outlaw right now, as we speak! Quick! Somebody report me to the FBI! (Click this link to go to the FBI Submit a Tip page.)

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m doing this. Well, let’s start with this:

In my opinion, President Donald Trump is an unmitigated asshole who should have bowed out of the 2016 Presidential race the moment the whole world heard that Access Hollywood hot mic recording of him saying “grab’em by the pussy”. This misogynistic hate speech is everything that any of us needs in order to be done with him as a President. Every day that this deranged, self-entitled hand-rapist remains in the Oval Office, “We the People” of the United States of America insult every girl child on Earth — all of our daughters, sisters, cousins, and future mothers, aunts, and grandmothers — and menace them with a lifetime of abuse ranging from casual disregard to sexual slavery.

That right there is all the reason any of us needs to start (non-violently) refusing to cooperate with the US Government until we redeem ourselves by ousting him — immediately. Donald Trump’s documented misogyny is sufficient reason right there for me to keep this laptop and its data (again, non-violently).

[Disclaimer: To be clear, I abhor violence and am vehemently opposed to any sort of violent behavior, and am advocating here for a strictly non-violent, totally naked-faced (no masks, please) sort of non-cooperation with the Trump regime — a la Thoreau, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, etc. Organizations like Antifa and ISIS are evil, to my view — just mindless and dangerous rage junkies looking for a way to catch a good buzz. The only “weapon”, so to speak, I will ever use is my sense of humor.]

Now, you may be wondering at this point what any of that has to do with the “so to speak” rape I endured last year. The answer is everything. The only reason it happened is because the lawyer who organized it works for the same famously anti-labor law firm that Trump’s current acting EEOC Chair Victoria A. Lipnic used to work for: Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. On February 9, 2017, Ms. Lipnic actually gave a pep rally (see YouTube video shown below) to all of Seyfarth Shaw, during which (see min 9:00 in the video) she suggested to all of her former colleagues that now that she’s in charge, the whole notion of Equality would be tossed under the bus whenever it was necessary to do so to carry out Trump’s racist, misogynist, anti-labor policies. The upshot here is that I got raped (“so to speak”) last year as a direct result of Trump’s hatred toward anybody who isn’t a rich, white, male willing to obey Trump’s every infantile whim.

In fact, the real question on the table here is not why I am willing to go to prison to (again, non-violently!) defend our Constitution, but why aren’t you?

Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 3

For part 2, see Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 2

“I don’t know. Rape is complicated. There’s a lot of grey area. Maybe the woman was too provocative. Maybe the guy didn’t realize she didn’t want to have sex with him. Are we sure it wasn’t just bad sex? Bad sex isn’t rape.”

Those are all valid points, provided you’ve never actually been raped. Once you’ve been raped, all of that looks like some sort of trick or smoke screen designed by rapists and exploited to keep themselves from getting caught. It’s as if the rapists of the world all got together and said,

Hey, we got a great thing going on here, but our victims are starting to accumulate, and if they start becoming aware of each other and talking to each other, they might organize and prevent us from raping them. We need a way to keep them under control and contain them — to keep them from talking to each other and to isolate them from everybody who cares about them and who might help them. We need a good “divide and conquer” strategy.

Ok, how about this: We’ll float a rumor that rape is “complicated”, that there’s a lot of “grey area”, etc. We’ll point out that women can be provocative — no wait! — make that too provocative, yeah, that’s good. They’re so provocative those women. And we can also exploit the fact that women are afraid of us, and especially afraid of getting beat up for refusing sex, and therefore often exploit the tactic of pretending to enjoy it so that they don’t get beat up or worse. Oh, and we should play up the bad sex angle. Everybody knows most dudes are just terrible in the sack….

One tragic and widely underappreciated consequence of rape is that (remember we’re focusing on the survivor here) getting raped instantly splits the entire world — which is to say every man, woman, and child — into two camps: friends and enemies. And the test to distinguish between members of these two camps is simple: for the survivor, a friend is anybody who gives her or him the benefit of the doubt — who simply assumes the victim is being honest, or perhaps “takes it on faith”, about the fact of the rape as well as its traumatic nature.

And everybody who doesn’t do that is either a rapist, or an accomplice (unwitting or otherwise), and therefore an enemy.

“Oh, now that’s just ridiculous. Now you’re saying that I become an accomplice to rape whenever I show a little healthy skepticism?

When your skepticism can be exploited by a rapist to hide and remain free to rape again then it’s not “healthy” skepticism.

Listen, I realize that you don’t actually want to be such an accomplice. In fact, it’s precisely because I’m pretty sure that  you don’t want to be some rapist’s accomplice that I’m trying to explain all of this to you. But if you really, really don’t want to help rapists get away with their crimes, then you must be sure to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone claiming to have been raped.

Unless you’ve been raped yourself, and unfortunately even if you have been raped, you may believe quite strongly and yet erroneously in what we might call the Myth of the Middle Ground. The idea here is that somewhere between a rapist and his or her victim is assumed to exist a kind of “No Man’s Land” where everybody else can stand while they ponder the evidence and try to figure out what really happened.

But from the perspective of the one who got raped, this is pure bullshit. From her point of view, there is simply no way to deprive her of the benefit of the doubt without simultaneously handing it over to her rapist. As the rape survivor sees it, there is no middle ground. It’s as if by raping her, the rapist captured the whole middle ground for himself. He captured its downtown, it’s uptown, its parks, its museums, and its shopping malls. By default, this renders virtually indistinguishable from an actual accomplice anyone who seriously tries to hold some position on that non-existent “middle ground”.

 

Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 2

For part 1, see Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 1

“But if women know they’ll be believed automatically, then all men will live in constant fear of being accused of rape, even if they didn’t actually rape anyone!”

Yup, that’s the idea. At the moment, it’s rape victims who live in fear of being accused of lying about being raped, which is much, much worse. So a truly survivor-centric view of rape — where all accusations of rape are assumed to be true by default — would shift the burden of fear off of the rape survivor, where it should never have been in the first place. If you’ve ever been raped, you know what I’m talking about. If you have never been raped, then maybe you should suspend judgment while you reconsider your position.

But really your concerns about false accusations of rape are both misplaced and grossly underestimated. Your concerns are misplaced because really they belong strictly to everyone who is not the actual rape survivor. The idea here is that this is a survivor-centric view of rape we are discussing, which means it’s the rape survivor that matters above everybody else, especially the folks who are afraid of being falsely accused. Yes, definitely, they surely matter, but that’s really a different subject altogether. What to do about that problem will have to be put off to the side while we figure out how best to help actual rape survivors.

And your concerns are also grossly underestimated, because it’s not just all men who will live in constant fear of being accused of rape. We will all have that problem — even the rape survivor herself. What’s more, parents will be especially afraid that their sons and daughters might one day be falsely accused of rape, and thus highly motivated to teach their children about the importance of respecting the rights of others. That won’t eliminate the risk entirely, of course, but as a general rule of thumb, the more respectful you are toward others, the less likely someone will accuse you of rape, falsely or otherwise.

The basic rule of a survivor-centric view of rape can be summarized, thus:

If anybody claims to have suffered a rape, then by default you should believe them — no matter what. It is much, much better to falsely accuse someone of rape, than it is to disbelieve a genuine rape survivor. The very last thing you should do is accidentally disbelieve someone who was actually raped. However bad it is for someone to be falsely accused of rape, it is much, much worse to get raped and then on top of that have to cope with people disbelieving you.

(Continue with Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 3)

 

 

Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 1

Suppose some woman walks up to you and says, “hi, I just got raped”. Should you believe her? What if she’s lying? What if she’s just trying to get back at some guy who treated her badly? Maybe he just cheated on her, so now she’s going around telling everybody that he raped her. Gosh! What should you do?

If these kinds of questions trouble you, then I have some great news for you, because the situation is really not that complicated. What you do is this: you believe her.

“But what about the guy! Doesn’t he have rights? What if she’s lying!”

Yeah, yeah, I get it. Believe me. I know what you mean. Maybe she is lying. Maybe the guy is a great and wonderful person who would never actually hurt a woman. Yes, these are all valid concerns.

These are valid concerns that you should totally ignore, so that they don’t interfere with your ability to believe that the woman got raped. When a woman tells you she got raped — actually, when anyone tells you they got raped, be they woman, man, child, whoever — it is absolutely imperative that you believe that he or she got raped, no matter what. 

“But what if she’s lying!”

Yeah, yeah, we just covered that. You’re right, she might be lying. But go ahead and believe her anyway.

“But what if she’s done this in the past and even confessed that she lied, and now here she goes again!”

Nope. That doesn’t change anything. You should still believe her.

“But I don’t understand! This makes no sense. This is just crazy!”

Right, it makes no sense, to you. Most likely because you’ve never been raped. Had you ever been raped, you would know that being disbelieved is so awful, that it’s just much, much better to make the mistake of believing a liar, than it is to make the mistake of disbelieving a true rape-survivor.

“But I would never make such a mistake. I can tell the difference between a liar and a true rape survivor with perfect accuracy.”

Go back and say that out loud.

(Continue with Towards A Survivor-Centric View of Rape: Part 2)