Dear President Trump,
Sadly, even though most adults in the US know not to invest any time wondering why you are so one-sided in your defense of Rob Porter, there are still millions of people, chief among them Republican women, who are probably deeply, negatively affected by it. They look to you as their Leader-in-Chief and almost certainly want to believe you are looking out for them. But now, what are they to think? Rather than saying something decently balanced about the Porter or Sorenson allegations and the tremendous burden on their ex-wives if the allegations are true, you just straight up took the men’s sides. It was predictable given who you are and your history, but where does that leave those women? What message does it send all the “Look-Good-On-The-Outside” men who terrorize their families within the sanctity of their castles? The message comes through loud and clear that basically those men who look-good-on-the-outside and whose brilliance and effectiveness are highly valued are going to be given the benefit of the doubt in spades. The message is that unless you were to walk in on such abuse actually happening, you would take up for the man. And even then, it seems pretty likely to me you’d still do back-flips (or back-flops as my fingers kept wanting to type) to find a way to blame the woman if the man in question was someone you could identify with at all.
Last year I made a series of prints where I found out the number of people who had been killed annually in different situations where they shouldn’t have had to die and I made a red dot for every one of them in a big grid. I did this for people who were shot and killed by police, people who were mentally ill and killed by police, and women who were killed by male romantic partners. For these women, I had to piece together information from several sources and had to make a number of assumptions because there is no central national accounting of their deaths. Plus, the most recent data I could find were three years old. As best as I could figure out, there were 1,188 women killed by male partners in 2013 (about 353 men were killed by female partners that year, likely most in self-defense).
You need to know you have now made even more women unsafe by taking up for Porter.
May you care about everyone’s safety.
May you get that happy looking does not always mean happy.
May you develop a healthier perspective on interpersonal violence.
May you recognize that millions of people look to you for direction.