When I first heard that another woman was coming forward with her story about how Trump had raped her I kind of mentally shrugged. It wasn’t going to make a difference I thought. A day or so later, a friend asked if I was going to do her portrait and I remember thinking ‘well, maybe if she helps bring him down I will.’
And then today, I realized what I had done. I had normalized rape. I had discounted the courage E. Jean Carroll has to find to write about what happened to her. She’s a smart woman, she knows the things people will say, ‘why did she wait?’ ‘What’s in it for her to tell this story?’ ‘She’s not his type anyway’....and that’s just the nice things.
I don’t think it’s so much that I have normalized rape as much as I am so used to the lack of any appropriate response to this violent attack on women. Over and over and over again our society tells us we don’t matter.
So I thank E. Jean Carroll for helping to remind me that even though our society might not care, I do care.
It doesn’t matter if her courage won’t change anyone’s mind on him. What matters is that she found the inner strength to share something awful that happened to her and her voice is important. Her voice deserves to be heard. Her portrait deserves to be painted. She is a Shero.