Still #NOTokay

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People across the United States are celebrating last night’s World Series victory of the Cubs and choosing a new President. How are these events related? Both offer an opportunity to push back against the culture that condones abuse of women.

The Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Yankees this summer, knowingly taking on a man who abused his girlfriend. Although he denies having hurt her, he doesn’t deny having shot a gun into a wall multiple times during a fight with her last year and didn’t dispute his 30 game suspension. Did it bother the Cubs that Chapman is an abuser? Or was it more important to win a World Series?

Cubs president Theo Epstein claims he talked with Chapman prior to the trade and that Chapman was “heartfelt” in his answers. What does Chapman say about that conversation? He doesn’t recall the details and was “sleepy” while they talked.

Now the Cubs have a World Series win and an abuser to thank in part for that.

Here’s the connection with the election. I’ve had to accept over the past several months that I share this country with many people who are not only comfortable with Donald Trump’s racist, misogynist, and xenophobic views but welcome the opportunity to share their own such views.

But I also think there are many people supporting Trump because they are anti-choice and their religious convictions are driving them to accept the hateful aspects of Trump because he may be able to deliver a Supreme Court that will over turn Roe v. Wade. Still others will vote for Trump because they view themselves as Republicans no matter what and will swallow what they don’t like about Trump to vote with their party.

What both supporting the Cubs and Trump leads to, however, is condoning a culture of violence and abuse of women. Any time we support anyone who has been abusive to women, whether it’s firing a gun to frighten your girlfriend (and most likely strangling her, as she originally told police) or groping women and bragging about it, we tell ourselves, our children, everyone, that it’s okay. Nope, #NOTokay.

As Adrienne wrote on Facebook today, about the Cubs victory last night, “You don’t knowingly employ someone who not only broke a law but abused someone. You know what it does to young boys and girls when a team puts him on the big stage? It sends a message that it’s OK. It sends a message that if you’re talented enough you can do anything you want with no repercussions. That’s not fucking ok. That perpetuates a culture of abuse of women.” In Trump’s case, it would be that you’re rich enough that you can do anything you want. 

The Cub’s shouldn’t have acquired Chapman and Americans shouldn’t hire Trump to be President. It doesn’t matter what piece of good you think you can pull out of the mistake of elevating an abuser to an exalted status — that he can pitch the shit out of other teams, that he could make abortion illegal again, that he can help win the World Series, that he can implement a fiscally and socially conservative agenda — it’s still a mistake.

Abuse of women is #NOTOkay now and forever. Remember that when you make choices.

 

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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3 Responses to Still #NOTokay

  1. rsbense says:

    Thank you for standing up for survivors for decades. I grapple with the separation of the person from their work and I just do not buy it. Who I am comes into all that I do work -home- family….yet somehow when large amounts of money and privilege enter the scene the rules change. I read a poem the other day called Dominos by Anna Grossnickle Hines. It is about how when one thing happens it happens to another and another and another…. Thank you again for taking the time to write about this subject! You can see Anna’s book at this link… http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9992486-peaceful-pieces

    • Grace Mattern says:

      Thank you. You can count on me to keep standing up for survivors and others who are disenfranchised. Social justice is a passion and I love having a place to voice my hopes for a better world.

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