How would I explain Pussygate to my daughter?
There are many times when I wish that the Popple was older. When we’re having dinner, for instance, and she spends half the meal angrily pointing at things.
“Do you want more soup? Some bread? Your water? A glass?” I ask.
She shakes her head vigorously and points harder.
“I don’t know what you want,” I say.
She throws her spoon in frustration, and I wish she older was older so she could just tell me what she wanted.
But lately I’ve been really glad that the Popple is still a small toddler, and it’s all thanks to Donald Trump.
“You know how the phrase ‘grab them by the pussy’ is all over the news? How would we explain that to the Popple if she was old enough to notice?” Adrian asked recently.
“I don’t know,” I said. The only explanation I could imagine would involve telling her that pussy was another word for cat, thus painting Trump as a crazed, orange man who ran around grabbing women’s pets.
It would be less scary than the alternative.
“I don’t know if it would be more awkward to explain it to a boy or a girl,” Adrian said. “If you have a boy, you have to teach them that they can’t do that. If you have a girl, you have to teach them to…not be terrified.”
That shook me. To not be terrified.
I don’t want the Popple to grow up fearing that a man might touch her without her permission. She shouldn’t have to worry about that.
None of us should.
I thought again about how I might explain Pussygate to her.
“Listen, Popple. That terrible man with the weird hair is in trouble because he said some very bad things about women. He thinks that just because he’s famous, he has the right to kiss them or grab their private parts just because he wants to. But he’s wrong. No one has the right to do that to anyone.
“The good news is that most men aren’t like Donald Trump. Women aren’t objects to them. We are their friends. Their sisters. Their mothers. Their daughters. We are people.
“But if you ever do come across a man like Trump, one who thinks he’s entitled to do what he wants to you because he’s a wealthy or a celebrity, feel free to kick him in the willy. Just give him a big old boot in the balls. He deserves it.”