I Am Fucking Begging You

Heavy content warning for discussion of sexual assault.

I used to have a post here addressing the assaults I survived in college. I took it down because it was seen and I felt seen for the very first time since they occurred, and that was all I needed. My head was loud, and I needed to express that openly to calm the noise.

For the last two days, the loudness has crept back in. As I hope you are aware, absentee presidential candidate Joe Biden has had an allegation of sexual assault leveled against him. I believe the allegation unquestioningly, and will speak in terms that reflect that. No “alleged” here. He is a rapist.

This has been, in a word, terrible. In the godawful isolation of this quarantine, I have cried myself to sleep the last two nights and spent the days crying intermittently because much of the U.S. just doesn’t seem to care. This reaction, or lack thereof, stops being surprising unbelievably quickly when you have survived a sexual assault, though the pain it inflicts never gets better. Once, a (decidedly) former friend was praising someone who had assaulted me, and she then resumed her praise of character without missing a beat when I interjected to say what had happened to me.

People do not care about rape, almost as a rule. This is just true.

This current loudness is a sort of screaming echo of 2016, like so many things are. I did not vote for anyone in the primary, as I was not nearly as politically active at the time. I wanted Bernie to win, but Hillary Clinton took the nomination and the rest is shitty history. I am not a fan of the Clintons. Bill has also been at the forefront of accusations–not to mention his and his wife’s proximity to child sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein and prolific rapist Harvey Weinstein. Joe Biden is being accused on the national stage for the first time in his life; Bill and Hillary are seasoned veterans.

Some of the most chilling stories about Hillary Clinton are the accounts from Bill’s accusers that describe her physically intimidating them, personally silencing them. They should be taken as fact, conditionally, but I can also vouch for how eerily and alarmingly their stories mirrored experiences I have also had with being silenced. Hillary Clinton played an active, knowing role in her husband’s brutal activities, and if you think she wasn’t aware of Weinstein’s behavior or Bill’s trips on the Lolita Express, I am astounded by your naivety.

This posed a problem. In no world, ever, would I vote for Donald Trump–another prolific rapist–but I was and am truly repulsed by the Clintons. They are bad, dangerous people. A government under Hillary Clinton’s leadership would be a disaster for so many vulnerable citizens. But she was not Donald Trump, for what pathetically little that is worth.

I chose to vote. One other factor was that I’d just gotten my feminism out of the cereal box and was legitimately taken by the patently untrue idea that every woman (every cis woman–the implication is always that the women in question are cis) would run a more competent outfit than any man ever could–even if that woman was a monster like Hillary. She got my vote–she took it, and blew it on the worst presidential campaign I have seen in my lifetime.

This is the most ethically compromised decision I have ever made, and it is the source of my loudness. I betrayed every person who ever accused Bill Clinton, I betrayed every survivor of sexual assault, and I betrayed my own self. For nothing.

This terrible wrinkle in my trauma haunts me, and likely will until the day I die.

I cannot do this again, and I will not. I cannot vote for Joe Biden, and you cannot make me. Please do not put me in the position of doing so. I am not a “Bernie or Bust” type, I am not a “Bernie Bro.” I am none of the flimsily-defined epithets people enjoy hurling at Bernie supporters.

I am a human being, and I am begging you to not let rapists run the world.

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