Yesterday, Herman Cain came to my campus to speak. This man had to end his campaign after it was reveled that he sexually harassed and assaulted women while he was CEO.
My group Students Advocating for Gender Equality, decided this was unacceptable. We organized a protest. All we did was stand outside the auditorium where he was speaking and hand out fliers that contained information on what he had done and sexual assault in general.
We had things thrown at us.
We were yelled at.
We had people ask us if we had been raped (many of us had been)
We had people stand outside and watch us.
We had people tell us that what Cain did was “no different than Clinton”
We had people tell us that our parents were cheaters
We had people tell us we didn’t know what sexual assault was.
It was the most grotesque display of rape culture I had ever seen. I felt terrible as the organizer because I did not think any of that was going to happen, so I didn’t think a head of time to warn women that it might. It trigged a lot of women.
It was awful.
We only had one man show up to support us the entire time. It was all women. Even liberal men didn’t want to support us because “Herman Cain’s a joke”. We know he’s a joke, that’s what makes the whole thing worse. Apparently it’s okay to commit sexual assault if you’re not serious.
I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t that.