You and Charlie have built a big youth organization, and I commend you for that. You’re obviously doing something right, and you’ve risen to the top of the conservative media machine – no small feat! But I feel compelled to tell you that this tweet of yours makes me want to light myself on fire:
Candace is the Communications Director for Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk’s massive organization of college-age conservatives. Candace and Charlie hang out with Kanye, which is neat. (Really! I’m a big fan of his music and really admire him sticking up for free thought.) Also, TPUSA is kind of questionable…but that’s another blog post for another day.
Anyway, this tweet…Candace, it’s so hateful, and I don’t think you’re a hateful person. I’m saying this as a conservative woman who says #MeToo and isn’t ashamed anymore – in no small part because the #MeToo movement finally drove it home that several things that have happened to me in the past – and made me very afraid – weren’t my fault.
The night a man followed me home and pushed in my apartment door while I struggled to push back on the other side, I didn’t realize that was assault. We had been on a date, I thanked him and said I was going home. He said he was going with me. I said absolutely not. He kept pestering me; I kept saying I’m going to where I live and you’re going to where you live. We went through a few rounds of this. He said he’d walk me home. I said FINE (knowing I didn’t really have a choice). I ran inside the building and bolted up four flights of stairs to my door. That’s how we got to fighting in the doorway. He could run as fast as I can, and he could out-shove me. (He did not physically injure me further.)
I thought he was pushy and rude, but didn’t realize that what he was doing was illegal. I should have called the cops. He was more than a jerk – he was a predator. I know this now because of #MeToo.
I wasn’t stupid then and I’m not stupid now. I was scared. I knew exactly what he wanted – believe me, I was painfully aware. If it makes me “stupid, weak & inconsequential” to admit what happened to me, then fine. I’ve been called worse things.
Your claim that #MeToo assumes inaction on the victim’s part is absolutely devastating.
Once, I was at a party and a man reached up my skirt. I did, in fact, turn around and smack him in the face. Reflexively, I went “I am SO sorry!” and then “Wait, no I’m not. You’re an asshole.” This is one of very few good comebacks I have ever had in my entire life. I’m glad I said it. It didn’t undo the fact that he grabbed me, though.
I said no to Doorway Guy repeatedly and clearly. #MeToo doesn’t assume I’m too stupid to pipe up. #MeToo knows that bad men don’t listen.
I hope you’ll understand that I don’t want to go into more detail about these instances and others that made #MeToo resonate with me on a personal level. But if you’d like, I can show you what I was wearing every single time. I can give you dates and names and places. If you’re worried that #MeToo disregards facts, I will spill all my facts to you and let you decide if I’m “stupid, weak & inconsequential.”
This weekend, TPUSA will host an all-women’s conference. You have a huge opportunity to influence young conservative women like me. Statistically, some of the women in that big conference ballroom will have experienced sexual assault. Please do not be one more person who says they somehow deserved what they got by being in a situation where assault happens. (Assault happens in all kinds of situations! Even when you’re walking a half block from your house and there’s people all around and everything’s brightly lit! Take it from a girl who knows.)
You don’t know me and you owe me nothing, but if I may be so bold as to ask for a personal favor: Please do not make sexual assault survivors unwelcome in the conservative movement. This movement needs all of us young people to create lasting change. Your voice is powerful. I hope you will use it to welcome people in – even people who have been through awful things.
Thanks for reading.