Statement from NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “She’s not my type,” Donald Trump said by way of denying E. Jean Carroll’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room more than 20 years ago.
Really, Mr. President? What is “your type” when it comes to rape? Donald Trump has rejected the accounts of other women he’s allegedly assaulted with smirking boasts that they weren’t attractive enough. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” he told a campaign rally about a woman who said he put his hand up her skirt on an airplane.
We already know how Donald Trump views women. He told us in his own words on the Access Hollywood tape. He feels entitled by his male privilege to force himself on any woman he meets — and then laugh about it.
But this is serious — even if the media is treating E. Jean Carroll’s horrific experience as unsurprising old news. We know that rape and sexual abuse is about power and control, not about an aesthetic type. We know the truth — and we will not be silenced even as we face a disinformation and propaganda campaign engineered by a culture of men protecting other powerful men. For them, rape and sexual assault stem from the sense of entitlement they feel to assert power, ownership and control over women.
Donald Trump — the Assaulter-in-Chief — must not be allowed to get away with minimizing his alleged crimes and mocking his victims. E. Jean Carroll bravely came forward, knowing full well she was stepping into a whirlwind of personal attacks, vicious lies and right-wing media vitriol.
When women speak, we listen — and we believe them. NOW believes and stands behind E. Jean Carroll and the at least 21 women who have so bravely come forward to speak truth to power, even when that power is held by the person with the highest office in the land. Their horrific trauma has been compounded by a culture that disbelieves and disrespects survivors.
Enough is enough.
Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary, email@example.com, 202-570-4745