Why Is Anyone Surprised?

The festival of shock and pearl-clutching that followed taped revelations of Donald Trump’s tackiness-to-women-in-his-own-voice astonished me. The man has shown us amply who and what he is, in one recorded utterance after another; really, did it take the word “pussy” to stun the Republican establishment, or anyone else?

More to the point: given the winks and nods to people who behave like Mister Trump over decades of the twentieth century, why is this news?

Oh, let’s go down the memory hole.

For my sins in another life, my French-hornist father wanted me to play the oboe. He got me an oboe teacher from one of his fellow Armed Forces bands. Talented motherfucker. I still have a physical memory of him standing behind me, “checking my diaphragm support,” and rubbing an erection against my hindquarters until I stamped my heel accurately into his instep. I was sixteen. I still have the oboe but I never really enjoyed playing it again. And no, I did not bring this up at home, where I was already apparently the cause of everything bad. Welcome to reality.

I had a piano teacher too, another family friend. She left me alone for a quarter hour with a house guest whose wife was somewhere upstairs. He felt overly friendly. I torqued his hand away from where his hand did not belong with main strength.


My first “shit job” after college was in a cheese and wine shop, where I learned a heck of a lot about two subjects that interested me and still do, and a good deal about what multiply married and divorced men do when they are in a position to hire underpaid females. Copping a feel in the cheese cooler was not really the worst of J. Numbnuts [not his real name] Carver’s vices; he was just a nasty human being. But, yeah, trying to cop a feel in the cheese cooler. His wife was in the office doing the accounts, a lot of good it did as he never could get the place in the black and spent his afternoons drinking Gallo in a trailer out back. Oh well.

Second shit job: Southwestern jewelry store with a family connection. Run by a couple employed at the Pentagon. She was a full blooded Native American who would go out on the rez and negotiate for amazing works of craft. He was a double-dipper colonel who was never more than two drinks away (and there was always booze in the back of the shop, and no one questioned that business model) from sticking his hand up a skirt and into underpants. Family connection, as I said. I quit wearing skirts at all, good decision, actually.

Third shit job: trade association where I was told I would do dogsbody work in the office, not any accounting, and was immediately given a petty cash box to reconcile. My supervisor was a preening bitch who took against me and immediately announced she would make it her business to run me out of the office. Larry worked across the hall and was the only person who was nice to me — a mature married man. The day I left the job a month later, not being interested in office girl fight crap, he wandered in as I was cleaning out my desk, grabbed me and pinched my nipple, and tried to stick his tongue in my mouth. He must have never cleaned his teeth; they had fur on them. I just walked and kept walking.

Fifteen and some years later, in business for myself, I had a fresh-faced Libertarian lawyer as a client — someone who had pled cases before the Supreme Court. Anita Hill was in the headlines, and I remarked in response to his scoffing, “Of course, all we have is he said and she said, but I know how it feels.” He sat bolt upright on the table. “Something like that happened to YOU?” he said.

“And every other woman I know,” I answered.

And let’s think about this: since adolescence I have been, conspicuously, someone who can chuck folding chairs off the back of a truck or heave packing cases all day, someone who could arm-wrestle a younger man to a draw. Because that was something I liked. Other people like other things. What do less physically ambitious women do?

People are shocked, shocked — on either side of the aisle — about Trumpy Gropeys? Really?


3 thoughts on “Why Is Anyone Surprised?

  1. Yes, all women. I’ve probably had less than you, actually – or less blatant experiences. But just a couple of years ago some local scum smacked my ass, and when I rounded on him and let him have it (verbally), he called me a cunt. And yeah, he is a big guy I’d never take down physically.
    I think what is causing the gasps of surprise is that Trump doesn’t, and didn’t, ‘need’ to use his power and fame to get women, but abuses us intentionally because of his power and fame. Which is why the rape accusations ring more true to me now than ever before. He is a disgusting excuse for a human.

    • The orders for brown paper bags are going through the roof all over America. The Engineer reports Trump has been nicknamed “The Gropenfuhrer” by one news outlet.

      I forgot to mention the one, and only one, massage gig I had in which all the customers were inexplicably men, despite the massage studio being in a nail and electrolysis salon, and they ALL had groin strains and some explicitly suggested sex. It became clear that at least someone had been providing services at that location. After the third overt proposition, instead of simply shutting the guy down verbally, I walked, but you know, I COULD. I was not in a situation where I had to wonder where the rent would come from if I stepped off that job.

      And of course, the Republicans who are all renouncing Trump and saying that “women should be treated with respect” have yet to respect our right to control our own bodies. I’m amazed someone highly visible hasn’t called Paul Ryan or Reince “obvious anagram” Priebus out on that.

      • If anyone over there listened to people not-American, plenty of Europeans are calling that out. Not famous enough I guess.
        I had a group of slightly older boys try to take me into the woods to ‘teach me the facts of life.’ I was 9. But a wily 9, and I went the other way.

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