Your words matter, Mr. Trump.

*I realize that this post may alienate some of my readers: it may even alienate some of my friends and family. But there are moments in your life when it is necessary to break silences and speak truths. If this post does nothing else, I pray that it leads to an open and honest discussion about real problems within my very small circle of influence. Great leaders realized long ago that the thoughts of men aren’t changed by grand gestures but by small steps made out of real conviction. That is what I hope this does. 

sad woman hug her knee and cry (monochrome)

Dear Mr. Trump,

I doubt that you will ever read this inconsequential little blog post of mine, yet, I feel compelled to write it to you. Perhaps it is more for those who will read it; those individuals still struggling with whose name they will put themselves behind when they cast their ballots in a few short weeks.

I want you to know that I am a registered voter. I will be voting. But I will not be voting for you. Nor will I be voting for Mrs. Clinton.

You see, I happen to find you both troubling, to put it mildly.

Neither of you exemplifies my beliefs or worldview. To be perfectly blunt, I find you both unpalatable and embarrassing.

That being said, I want to share something with you. I am genuinely afraid of what may become of our country if you are elected President of the United States. I may be one of the few people who still truly honor that office. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the policies established or the lifestyle of the man (or woman) holding the office, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the person that has to sit behind that historic desk in the Oval Office and make some of the most difficult and weighty decisions never truly known to the rest of the country. It is not a position I would want for any of my children, yet, they are what has inspired me to write this.

Your words, Mr. Trump…they have been heartbreaking.

Or should I say, the way you dismiss them, has been heartbreaking?

You seem to think that words don’t matter–that they don’t hold weight or value or change lives or thought patterns.

They do, Mr. Trump. They really do.

I will honestly say that your words from a decade ago, in reference to your prowess with women, do not offend me. It is the attitude and flippant disregard of women as real people that offends me.

I have heard much worse in my life. I have been called much worse. I have been called a whore, slut, liar, b**ch, c*nt.

I was called all of those things by the young men who disregarded me as a real person. The same young men who raped me when I was only 14  years old. It took, literally, decades for me to recover from a single violent act committed by boys who believed that they had a right to my body. They spoke very similar words to each other during that event that you shared with Mr. Bush. They believed they didn’t have to wait. They believed they could do anything they wanted.

These young men believed that asking was not a requirement. They were convinced that my consent was completely inconsequential.

It wasn’t.

I can, gratefully, say now that I have moved on with my life. I am a successful and respected writer, wife, mother, and friend. I have three sons and a daughter and they are what prompted this post.

I want my sons, who are athletes and spend a significant amount of time in locker rooms, to know that real men, God-loving men, men who respect and honor women, do not dismiss them. They do not own them or dominate them or have rights to their bodies or minds. My own sons, who I love more than my own life, have no privilege or duly-earned justification to allow the abuse or disrespect of my womanhood or that of any other female with whom they ever interact: not their sister, not their girlfriends, not their wives, their friends or total strangers.

I want my daughter, who is brilliant and strong and still finding her place in the world, to know that her womanhood is a God-given gift. She is the steward. She is the captain of her own ship and it is up to her to grant “permission to board” to anyone else who covets her beauty and strength. Anyone else is a rapist and abuser and violating her.

Everyone makes mistakes, Mr. Trump. We are all sinners. God knows that I earned my place in hell; it is only the grace of God that restores me to His side.

I do not judge you. I am praying for you and Mrs. Clinton.

I pray that you both understand someday the depravity that you each encourage and support. I pray that you meet Jesus, face to face, and get to know Him as I have. I pray that you hear clearly, in the quiet, what you seem to miss in the noise of this election.

But, until that day, Mr. Trump…I will be standing my ground against you.

I am convinced that when you dishonor the daughters of God, you dishonor the Father himself.

That type of disregard for my Savior and King is not permitted in my heart or my home.

Sincerely,

Brandi Cortes-Hickson

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