“Grab ’em by the pussy,” a collection of quotes

Staff writer Cassie Ippaso reached out to several women's student organizations for anonymous submissions of real quotes from cis-men that perpetuated heteronormativity and patriarchy
Willow Yang/Senior Staff
Staff writer Cassie Ippaso reached out to several women's student organizations for anonymous submissions of real quotes from cis-men that perpetuated heteronormativity and patriarchy

 

Misogyny is one of the world’s oldest prejudices. For what he has done or failed to do, President-elect Donald Trump has brought to the forefront of our minds the notion that this ubiquitous prejudice is felt on some level by every woman.

To prove this reality, I reached out to women in several student groups to anonymously tell me about instances where cis-men had uttered words to them to propagate the normalized misogynistic and heteronormative culture that dominates the world we live in. The results were astounding and, unfortunately, there were far too many even to be written on these pages.

First, I’ll start with a personal anecdote.

I was on the third or fourth date with a guy and, in the midst of the conversation, he tumbles out, “You’re really intimidating. You’re smart … for a girl, definitely the smartest I’ve ever dated.”

At first, I was flattered. Wow, he thinks I’m smart — here’s this man, who is a number of years my elder and has one of those I-can’t-really-explain-what-I-do-but-it-makes-a-lot-of-money jobs, and he thinks that I’m smart? This 21-year-old girl?

It wasn’t until I was leaning against my bedroom door, stumbling over my words as I relayed to my roommate how sweet this guy had been when he told me that I was smart that I realized I hadn’t even blinked when he added — for a … girl.

The day after the election, I sat in a small lecture hall as professor Abhishek Kaicker made the commonly held argument that the reason we learn history is because it repeats itself; times may change, but human nature does not. He related today’s political climate to women asserting themselves as equals and important members in society in 18th-century India.

I sarcastically raised my hand and asked, “Are you telling us that you think the Trump election really marks a time for women empowerment?”

His response was interesting, “At points in history, the moment when the most extreme and strong version of the old belief structures are reasserted is at the exact moment that it has broken down.”

The world of “pussy grabbing” has always been sewn into the fabric of our society. Today, one would have to tape their eyes shut in order to avoid the seams of sexism now threaded into even our highest office.

I don’t know what we should do about normalized misogyny, just as much as I don’t know how to fight against the forces in the next eight years that will test my deeply rooted love for this country that we call home. What I do know is that I’m not smart for a girl, I’m just smart. I won’t forget that next time.

The featured image is a collection of some of the most shocking and unsettling of the quotes collected.

Contact Cassie Ippaso at [email protected]