In the Wake of Pussygate . . .

. . . to what should we pay attention? Not the pied piper of the fearful, Donald Trump; his noise is merely the death throes of ignorance. No, we need to consider the Days of Our Lives actress, Arianne Zucker, waiting unaware outside that bus.

We’ve been here before: professional setting, women and men interacting, men lobbing sexual innuendo, women caught in their snare—uncomfortable, but forced to play along. When Billy Bush asked Zucker which man she would choose—Trump or Bush—she responded flirtatiously, as we all believe we must: “Both,” she said, suggesting a ménage a trois. Zucker probably wanted neither, but we women all know how this works. We have a choice: play along and objectify ourselves, or refuse to play and be called a Frigid Bitch.

Now a backlash is afoot. The political climb of Donald Trump has given voice to those who hate. As women and minorities continue to rise, so too will the violence against us. We need to recognize those who wish to diminish us and do us harm; and we must refuse to help them do it. What is more important: objectifying ourselves to please men, or maintaining our self-respect?

Let’s stop giving our power to sleazebags by saying “Both.” Let’s turn their conversation around by arming ourselves with a few thoughtful retorts. Together, let’s create a list: What could we say when the jackasses bray? And men, we’d like to hear from you, too.

(Next Week: A big thank you to the men who stood with women and spoke out against Trump’s lewd "locker room talk.")

© Ellen Antonelli 2016

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