The Upstander Election
Enough is Enough. In fact, it is way more than enough.
Nothing could illustrate the need for a radical change in our thinking and our culture than these last two weeks in Election 2016. What we have seen is Rape Culture on display. Or worse. We’ve seen it glorified, exalted, and what is worse – excused.
Women, who are overwhelmingly the victims in sexual abuse, and all the men who are not abusers, have worked for decades to make a difference in how we look at these crimes and worked to end victim blaming. It has been an uphill fight all the way. And we can see why, given the rhetoric from this election cycle.
On Thursday, October 13, the women of America heard from a champion who articulated perfectly just what we think and feel when we hear the language that has been used. First Lady Michelle Obama gave voice to all of us in her speech in New Hampshire. I urge you to read her words and watch the video. Her passion and her agonizingly terrible conviction is inspiring.
TRANSCRIPT: Michelle Obama's Speech On Donald Trump's Alleged Treatment Of Women
“The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can't believe that I'm saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.
“And I have to tell you that I can't stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn't have predicted. So while I'd love nothing more than to pretend like this isn't happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream.
“This is not something that we can ignore. It's not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a "lewd conversation." This wasn't just locker-room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.”
And strangely enough, there was another voice raised that day also made the point that “Enough is Enough.” It was made with hideous sarcasm and great distain, but the point was made.
Rush Limbaugh said:
“You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is?” Limbaugh asked no on in particular on his talk radio show Wednesday. “One thing. “You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element,” he continued. “Do you know what it is? Consent.”
BINGO, Rush! You get it. And really, who expected that? Granted, that was not the point he was trying to make, but that doesn’t change the fact that he stated a truth we have been working toward for years: Consent is the key!
Mrs. Obama made the point that we have the tool we need to send an unmistakable message that Enough is Enough and that sexual assault is not okay, regardless of the power and celebrity of the perpetrator. As the immediate response to the tapes show:
Sexual assault and the Trump tape: 1 million women say it's #notokay
That tool the First Lady said, is the vote. Consider:
Women Outnumber Men in All But Nine States
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 161 million females in the U.S. in 2013 versus 156.1 million males, or about a ratio of 1-to-1. That ratio shifts dramatically when looking at older populations, however: at age 85 and older, women outnumber men by a ratio of 2-to-1 (4.0 million to 2.0 million).
Nationally, females make up 50.8 percent of the population, but that percentage varies across states.
There are only nine states where males make up more than 50 percent of the population: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Consider also the immediate social media response “After FiveThirtyEight published maps showing the electoral college results if only men came out to vote, and if only women came out to vote, a new hashtag started to trend on Twitter: #repealthe19th. That's the 19th Amendment, the amendment that granted women the right to vote. Trump supporters — the majority of whom are men —figured that might be as good an option as any to ensure victory for their candidate.
These maps are, by the way, imaginary. The response was anything but: #repealthe19th.
Lucky for us, social media is a double edged sword, of course, so there was a response to that hashtag. #Rejoicethe19th celebrates that women fought hard for the right to vote via the 19th amendment and Civil Rights Act.
What will the last few day of the campaign bring? The trends are pretty clear:
In every election since 1984, women have comprised more of the electorate than men. While women overall have backed the Democrat since 1988, white women have been an increasingly important part of Republican presidential strength in recent years.
This year, the white vote is much more split than it has been in the past, with white women — particularly college-educated white women — moving toward Hillary Clinton even more dramatically than white men without degrees have moved to Trump.
Trump's problems with women aren't isolated to his own party. Even before the hot-mic tape came out, his numbers were slipping among independents. Independent women have consistently been more supportive of Clinton than Trump, a scenario that seems likely to get even worse.
My 8-year old granddaughter in 3rd grade has been learning about Upstander behavior.
An upstander is someone who says “no” to bullying. In virtually all bully-victim situations, there are witnesses who view or know about the act. We want to make sure our kids are part of a community where everyone—kids and grownups alike—makes the decision to be an upstander, rather than a passive bystander who does nothing.
Election 2016 is crying out for Upstander Voters. I am one. Are you?