Personal Art: What saying “I’m with her” really means.

monicalee_unwantedkisses

I created this painting several weeks ago. As I worked on it, it disturbed me. For the first time as an artist, I just let it be disturbing. It was personal.  Uncomfortable.  I knew there was more to this painting and more to this story. The original title was “You Just Stand There and Look Pretty ” over the past couple of weeks, I have expanded the title to “Unwanted Kisses.”

I am not a fan of controversy and am the type of person that would rather watch how things play out, but at this juncture I am showing you what came out of me, an artist, working on finding the balance of voice and beauty.

Over the years I have, like so many women, have been stunned, shocked, bullied and humiliated by the actions and words of  men like Donald Trump. Men that make a stealth habit of taking advantage of women when the see their guard let down. Men that actively look for ways to put women in vulnerable positions. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. They are practiced.

It is not ok, it is not meant to be swept away in other news commentary. It is not locker room talk and cannot be dismissed  by calling women liars or not ATTRACTIVE enough to be heard and believed. IT IS NOT OK. IT NEVER HAS BEEN AND IT NEVER WILL BE. Should I type that twice so you believe me when I say it? Simply condemning this behavior is not enough in my book.

With two sons and a wonderful husband, I live in a house of men that I cherish. I have never taken the time or been brave enough to tell them my stories.  It’s disturbing and uncomfortable. . As we can see, there is a  real fear that you might not be believed, heard, or respected simply because of what someone else premeditated and did to you. But I love the men  in my life enough to take a stand and to make them uncomfortable and let them know, it has happened to me and it stuck with me. It took pieces out of my spirit, out of who I am and who I am meant to become.

If you have a sister, a daughter, even a mother, you need to take a stand with with them and say it is NOT OK. No matter how big, how powerful or how rich you happen to be, it is NEVER OK.

Witnessing people who are most likely decent men and women rally around an abuser is the most disheartening thing I have witnessed in my years on the planet. It is  especially surprising  and hurtful, coming from  other women.  I want to shout to them, not at them.  I want to let them see the pain in our eyes up close,  so they will be woken from slumber.

We have to stop it.  We cannot let this conversation be over, too much is at stake. I do not what my sons to see someone rewarded for humiliating women repeatedly, first in offense then in words.  As educated, decent, compassionate men and women we must say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. 

“Yeah, I’m going to go after you. Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you … That would not be my first choice.” -Donald Trump

Your first choice for WHAT exactly, Mr. Trump?

We stand up together and say STOP.  STOP using words that belittle us, STOP touching when you are not in relationship with us, STOP denigrating us based on how we look. Most of all,  STOP ASSAULTING US.

Saying, “I’m with her”  means that you are linking together with your daughter, your granddaughter, your sister, your mother, your wife so they won’t be next. Just “condemning” ANYONE doing these things is simply not enough, it’s personal. 

You are welcome to share my personal uncomfortable piece of art but please share these words I have written with it.

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