From the Editor
by Shlomit Gorin, MA
The lewd recordings came out, and formerly finger-wagging politicians and media commentators finally put their collective foot down. A line was crossed. People gasped at what they heard Trump, the man who's unabashedly misogynistic in public, say about women's privates in private. The recording induces pangs of disgust, even worse, perhaps, than the repulsion elicited in an adolescent thinking about her parents having sex. But is it as shocking as the primal scene we're treating it as? During this presidential campaign, we've heard a candidate say offensive things about many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups. And if he's saying those things in front of cameras, it's fair to believe that what he says behind closed doors is even cruder.
So why has the line been drawn at sexual assault? Can we say it's worse than discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, or Muslims? Maybe no one is saying it directly, but we can hypothesize that the line was drawn there because those in power are disproportionately white, and so are their mothers, wives, daughters, and others in their close circles; when their women are affronted, it's an affront to them. Marginalization and disempowerment are further reinforced in an insidious cycle, this time under the guise of righteous outrage against misogyny.
Since we're in the business, literally and figuratively, of paying attention to what gets overlooked, to ways in which the inter- and intra-psychic status quo is maintained, and to the dynamics of power, it may be worth pausing to think about the lines we don't draw in addition to those we do.