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Downtown View: Thanks, Donald, for the Big Reveal

One good thing Donald has done for America is that the regrettable frequency of sexual assault is now out in the open, and it’s not just a bunch of drunk college sophomores committing the crimes.

I had read that women were revealing their own experiences with it to their mates and to other women. Then I landed with several women friends I see a two or three times a year. They started talking and talking and talking. I was observing the disclosures first-hand.

At first two themes emerged. One was that the men who had perpetrated these acts were pathetic, creepy creatures, and we suspected they had small “hands.” Another was that the women felt humiliation years after the acts had taken place.

Then one woman described an attempted rape. C. said that a busboy who’d been serving in her college sorority offered to walk her home, and she was happy for the company. But when they got to her place, he pushed her into her room and tried to rape her. Terrified, she could think of only one thing to do—she made herself throw up, all over him.

Disgusted and distracted, he paused, and she was out of there.

That set me to thinking: how many women have been threatened with sexual assault and prevailed? After a unscientific poll of my friends, it turns out that due to luck, height and clever thinking, many have done so.

Take S.’s experience:

“Some years ago, I was living with a large, chocolate point Siamese cat named Harvey and dating a professor from a local university. One evening after dinner at a lovely restaurant, we came back to my apartment for coffee and conversation. We were standing in the hallway leading from the living room to the bedroom when the professor began playfully backing me toward the open door of the bedroom. Before I realized this was not a game, the professor had pinned me down on the bed and was trying to disrobe me. I virtually bellowed my objection to no avail.

“In response, Harvey, issuing his great hoarse Siamese meows, leapt on the prof’s back and clawed him vigorously. Prof ran out the door with Harvey at his heels.”

Another story that may be more common than anyone realized was P.’s. She said her doctor pushed her against the wall as he was leaving the exam room and kissed her on the lips before slipping out the door. She retaliated by getting a new doctor.

Cleverness sometimes helps, although it’s hard to be clever when you are scared.

One woman told of being in grad school when a young teen approached her on the sidewalk. He was tall and skinny with a sweet baby face. She thought he was going to ask for change, but instead he knocked her books to the ground and tried to grope her. Astonished, she asked, “What would your mother say if she knew what you were doing?”

He stood back, looking really scared, and asked, “Do you know my mother?”

She replied, “Of course I do!!”

He disappeared down the street at record speed.

Having a weapon helps. In one tall woman’s case it was her elbows. She was married to a professor. As she came out of the bathroom at a department party, the head of her husband’s department pushed her back in and tried to disrobe her. This woman is about five-eleven, and she made use of her size, elbowing him and fighting him. She managed to get out. He came out soon after, continued having a good time at the party and never seemed embarrassed at subsequent social encounters with her. She wondered if he even remembered. She certainly did.

Another woman described using her door as a weapon. Some years ago a neighbor joined her as she was walking home through the colorful fall leaves in the Back Bay. He helped carry some of her heavy books. At her door, he returned her books and began to grope her. She pushed him away, but he still had one hand on the door frame. So she shut the door on his hand and kept it there, pushing against the door, as he wailed in pain. When she finally let up, he sprinted away. She laughed, then shook and cried.

Unfortunately, other stories of assault were less satisfying because the women could not get away.

The best news, however, is not that predatory men can be vanquished. It’s that so many men are dignified, caring, loving, respectful, and real friends and partners of women. Those kinds are the real men.

Downtown View is a column by newspaperwoman Karen Cord Taylor who founded The Beacon Hill Times in 1995 and served as its editor and publisher until late 2007. She also founded and served as editor and publisher of the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge and The Back Bay Sun weeklies. Karen now works from her home in downtown Boston and blogs at Please feel free to leave responses in the comments section below.

13 Replies to “Downtown View: Thanks, Donald, for the Big Reveal

    1. Why should it NOT be posted here? The North End has been the site of assaults on women. It is the idea that these attacks should not be openly discussed that encourage perpetrators in their actions and cause victims to be afraid to report them. Thank you Karen!

      1. The reason that the article should not be posted here is because it could open the floodgates for one political comment after another.The comments show overwhelmingly [with the exception of that people do] NOT want political statements on this site.

  1. In addition to your remarks about Donald, I can honestly tell you that no man, whether he is
    a billionaire or not, could ever put his hands on me without the entire plane or room knowing about
    what happened right there & then.

    We all know this is the most difficult election most of us will ever witness in our lifetime, but l am
    convinced if I have to pick the lesser of the 2 Evils, Donald wins hands down.

    Donald is not a politician, thank God, he makes a lot of sense when he talks, Hillary is more
    polished, no doubt about that, and she can get away with lying better than Donald.

    This is a Black & White Voting Situation, if you are happy with Obama, you vote for Hillary, if
    not it is Donald all the way.

  2. There she goes again. This woman is obsessed with anti Trump propaganda and hatred. Joan of Arc is spot on about the clear choice we have to make on Nov. 8 . I hope and pray that we can send the Clintons on there way for good and put an end to all this corruption.

  3. It is worth noting that this piece is actually about sexual assault, with (I believe) the point being that most women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual behavior. The allegations of rumored (and admitted!) improper conduct and impending rape case (!) of the Republican candidate not withstanding.

    It isn’t hard to read this article on this blog and understand what “this woman” is saying.

    p. s.
    J. O. A. – Please understand how your remarks may negatively impact women that have been assaulted/raped, etc. Your statement is classic victim shaming.


    1. Elizabeth, Believe me, I do not make light of any woman who has been sexually violated.

      I think these women waited too long before making their statements. Why didn’t they speak up
      during the Republican Convention? Don’t you find that strange?

      I think every man that sexually abuses women should have his balls cut off, but Hillary is
      definitely not the answer. Donald might be rough around the edges, but he makes more sense to
      me than Hillary. I believe my Jesus will be on Donald’s side.

  4. Karen: Thank you for the article. We need to hear the good with the bad, and as you so beautifully write, there are dignified, respectful, loving men who are real friends and partners with women.

  5. JOA, I wanted to remain neutral & avoid commenting on this election,but after reading your post all I can think of is if “Jesus is on Donald’s side” were all doomed.

  6. Michael that is your opinion. All the Evangelists seem to like Trump & like one of them said, they
    wouldn’t want him for a 3rd Grade Teacher for their Child, but the country is going down & this is
    the only Ray of Hope we have.

    Our Friends don’t Trust us & our Enemies don’t fear us, not a Good Place to be in.

    I know Trump is very rough, and we are all use to Sweet Talking POLITICIANS who tell us one
    thing & do another once they are voted in. Trump does not come across life Father Flanagan
    from Boys Town, what you see is what you get.

    Trump is a Billionaire & as far as I am concerned being in the White House is not the same lifestyle
    as the Penthouse in the Trump Towers, by no means. I truly believe he is concerned about the
    Welfare of our Country & rightfully so. The U.S. is in bad shape & we certainly don’t need any
    immigrants from any countries sucking off of our government. Charity starts at home & we have
    people living in our country in Deplorable Conditions, Flint, Chicago & look at our Mattapan
    Area. I definitely believe in helping people, but Our Citizens come 1st.

    The Immigrants that are already here know the system better than we could ever know it.
    They work, own property & their children are going to private school in our neighborhood while
    others are paying for their children. What the hell is going on? I am a concerned Middle Class
    Citizen & I am tired of paying for others. I am looking for Fairness, nothing more.

    1. This was a post about sexual assault.

      JOA. You’ve somehow managed to hijack the post and make it about something else…you.

      How can you talk about “your Jesus” and be such a racist and xenophobic hate mongerer? Your words are so hateful. Really disgraceful and disgusting. Despicable really.

  7. JOA, MOST OF OUR IMMIGRANTS ARE CITIZENS & MOST DO NOT GAME THE SYSTEM.Trump’s popularity shows one thing [SADLY] & that is that hatred,bigotry,racism & prejudice are still alive & well in the US.

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