By Kelsey Duchesne
It’s probably safe to say that you've seen the leaked footage from a 2005 Access Hollywood special with Donald Trump and Billy Bush (if you haven’t, you can watch here. It’s awful. I’m sorry I’m even linking this to you.) Following the appropriate media uproar, Trump has defended this troubling and lewd incident as “locker room talk” and “just words.” It’s a lazy excuse, and provides more insult to injury, because they are not just words. Donald Trump’s violent language like “Grab her by the pussy” and “I moved on her like a bitch” has been triggering for may women, including actress Amber Tamblyn. Tamblyn took to Instagram and shared her own story of sexual abuse, and paired it with a photo of Donald Trump kissing former Miss USA pageant winner Olivia Culpo.
Tamblyn shares her experience with a sexually abusive boyfriend, who continued to be abusive after they broke up. Tamblyn is honest and vulnerable, and we will respect her by posting her message in full, as we do not want to dismantle it.
“I need to tell you a story. With the love and support of my husband, I've decided to share it publicly.
A very long time ago I ended a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship with a man I had been with for some time. One night I was at a show with a couple girlfriends in Hollywood, listening to a DJ we all loved. I knew there was a chance my ex could show up, but I felt protected with my girls around me. Without going into all the of the details, I will tell you that my ex did show up, and came up to me in the crowd.
He's a big guy, taller than me. The minute he saw me, he picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina— my pussy?— and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash, out of the club. His fingers were practically inside of me, his other hand wrapped tightly around my hair. I screamed and kicked and cried. He carried me this way, suspended by his hands, all the way across the room, pushing past people until he got to the front door. My friends ran after him, trying to stop him. We got to the front door and I thank God his brothers were also there and intervened. In the scuffle he grabbed at my clothes, trying to hold onto me, screaming at me, and inadvertently ripped off my grandmother’s necklace, which I was wearing. The rest of this night is a blur I do not remember. How I got out to the car. How I got away from him that night. I never returned for my necklace either.
That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend's violence for at least the next week. I had a hard time wearing jeans. I couldn’t sleep without a pillow between my legs to create space.
To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I'm even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart. I couldn't take that. But you understand, don't you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight.”
The purposeful and abusive nature of the phrase “grab her by the pussy” is in no way a defensible act. While Trump may see it as harmless “locker room talk” (barf), many of us see it as a threat. To some, a painful memory. Trump does not get to downplay the ugliness of his words, and Amber Tamblyn, among other supportive women and men, will make sure of that.