Amber Rose points out the classism that underlies Trump’s sexual assault allegations
In an interview with Yahoo News, Amber Rose became the latest star to respond to the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s 2005 comments about groping women. “When you’re a star, they [women] let you do it, you can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump said in the lead audio. The Republican nominee has since dismissed his boasting about sexual assault as mere “locker room talk” and denied the handfuls of sexual abuse allegations lodged against him since. In the Friday interview, Rose tackled the underlying classism of sexual abuse cases, noting how Trump’s wealth and fame have rendered it difficult if not impossible for women accusing him to get justice.
“I want him to get in trouble for it because I cannot even count how many times a famous guy touched me inappropriately,” Rose said. “Imagine this: Donald Trump comes and touches me inappropriately, right? I’m a regular ass girl. Do I call 911? Do I get on Twitter and tweet about it? How should I go about letting people know that this guy did it to me and who’s actually going to believe me, you know what I’m saying?”
All women who are sexually abused by men of any income bracket face an uphill battle toward justice, as society and law enforcement require them to have nearly perfect narratives and report immediately in order to be believed, despite statistically low rates of false reporting from assault victims.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center estimates 63 percent of cases of sexual assault will go unreported, likely because survivors fear the stigma, blame, and disbelief they will face upon coming forward.
But as Rose points out, the burden placed upon women who claim to be abused by powerful men — from Trump, to Bill Cosby, to James Deen, to Derrick Rose — is arguably even greater. No matter which route they go about reporting, they will probably find themselves dismissed as liars seeking fame.
In Trump’s case, the issue is only exacerbated by Trump’s status as the presidential nominee of a major party. Accusations surfacing now are dismissed as politically motivated, despite the fact that so many factors affect when and how survivors, who rightfully fear retribution and slander, choose to come forward. And this very fear of retribution and slander is only magnified for victims’ whose attackers have the wealth, power, and influence to effectively destroy the lives of, as Rose called them, “regular-ass women.”
Despite the fact that sexual assault affects people of all genders, it disproportionately affects women and subjects them to a brand of victim-blaming inherently rooted in misogynistic cultural standards. But as Rose points out, it’s time for us to look at Trump and recognize this is a class issue, too.