Outraged? Yes, I Am! by Karen Leslie Hernandez


karen hernandezReaders, please note: this post includes accounts of rape and violence agianst women and quotes distrubing statements of assault made by Donald Trump. These are easily identifiable by the use of italics or as indented, quoted text. 

Of course I’m outraged.

I had someone the other day post on my Facebook wall that I’m “angry.” And I have also been told lately that because Donald Trump won and I didn’t, “get my way,” I should just, “get over it.”

What I really wish I could say to these folks is … “Of course I’m outraged, but I am not sure if I am more outraged that you can’t see past your privilege, or, that you think I am angry because Hillary didn’t win.”

Newsflash. I would be ecstatic if George Bush Jr., were in office again. Or, if Sarah Palin had run, and won. This has nothing to do with being a “sore loser” or not “getting my way.” This has to do with the fact that our POTUS is a sexist, misogynistic, racist human being.

This is the President of the United States:

I did try and fuck her … I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping … She wanted to get some furniture … I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married … Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

And then later in regard to a woman he was about to meet up with:

I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her …You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful ― I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait … And when you’re a star they let you do it … You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy … You can do anything.

This is my POTUS? Of course I’m outraged.

Around the world, every day, girls and women suffer unspeakable violence – sex trafficking, rape, domestic violence. incest, female foeticide and infanticide, restricted from moving about, forced marriage, religiously oppressed, and so much more. And, every day, there are excuses that blame women for all of these things, and enable and embolden men to keep doing harm – men such as Donald Trump.

Think violence against women is overstated and exaggerated? In my work as a peace builder, advocate for domestic violence survivors, and as someone in ministry, I have heard a lot of accounts.

A few that really stick out in my mind are: a daughter who told me how her mother, who was in and out of rehab, finally had her life in order. Her mother had a job, an apartment and was clean. Then, she met a man, who, unbeknownst to her daughter, was abusive. Her daughter had no idea, until her mother disappeared and was found cut up in to several parts, in a suitcase, on the curb in San Francisco.

Of course I’m outraged.

And another: a woman from Somalia told of how the soldiers came for her son in the middle of the night. She told him to hide. The soldiers came in and after angrily searching, they found him. They then forced her son to rape her. And then they sodomized him with their rifles, and raped her again and again. Then, they killed him, shoving rifles down his throat, and cutting him until he bled out. She wakes up every day with this memory.

Of course I’m outraged.

When I am teaching domestic violence 101 courses, I always share this account: a woman in Maine was married to, what most perceived as, a nice man. Not once did her husband raise his hand to her, not once did he ever show any physical aggression. But, every day of their 35 year marriage, until his death, he would sit at the breakfast table and find a story of someone who had been murdered or died a horrible accident. He would lay the paper down next to her on the table, point to the story and say, “This could be you.”

Of course I’m outraged.

Some will say these are stark, excessive comparisons to Donald Trump. But, the reality is, men such as Donald Trump are where it starts. The sexism, the misogyny, the outright “nasty” juvenile behavior, with just the right mix of racism – this is where it begins. Then it spreads, like a plague, and the misogyny grows and leaks into the very pores of men, needing a way out – leading to accounts such as described above.

You see, it really isn’t about being a sore loser. It is about having a man as a “leader” who has no idea how to lead. It is about having a man in the highest position in the world, who talks of grabbing women’s pussies and objectifying women, including his own daughter, in public. It’s about a man who has been accused of sexually assaulting several women and even brags about it. It’s about having a man in the highest position in the world, who is radically, yet at the same time, subtly and overtly racist.

Of course I’m outraged.

I work to end violence against women. I work for equality and peace. I work for justice. I advocate for humanity. I hope for love of all. This is what drives my understanding of the world and of humans. This is faith in action. My faith as a Christian tells me to condemn everything that is Donald Trump. My faith tells me that those that truly follow Jesus are tolerant, non-divisive, compassionate and true to the Bible’s clearest, political theology – that the land, and we, will be judged by the welfare of the orphan, the widow, and the stranger. My faith tells me that God does not expect me to sit by and watch Donald Trump harm anyone. My faith tells me that Donald Trump is a threat to women everywhere, in every country, in the world. My faith is not blind, yet my conviction is righteous.

So, yes, I am angry. I am incredulous. I am befuddled. I am scared. I am incensed. And, of course I’m outraged. Aren’t you?

Karen Leslie Hernandez is a theologian and interfaith activist. With a focus in Christian-Muslim Understanding, as well as religious fundamentalism and extremism, Karen is the only theologian who is a Latina and a United Methodist, doing this type of theological work in the US. She has published with several media outlets including the Women’s United Nations Report Network, The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue/Studies, State of Formation, and she was the only Christian to publish an ongoing Op-Ed Column with OnIslam out of Cairo, Egypt. Karen also has a featured chapter in Qasim Rashid’s latest book, Talk to Me: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion & Education. Karen lectures and teaches, with her last teaching gig at Meadville Lombard Theological School, where she taught an Interfaith Dialogue workshop to students from six countries. Karen is a proud Wellesley College alumnae, has two Theological master’s degrees from both Andover Newton Theological School and Boston University School of Theology, and she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Ministry at Claremont School Theology. Karen lives in San Francisco, is an Ambassador with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, tutors women who are incarcerated, and she is a Domestic Violence Advocate.

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Categories: abuse, Abuse of Power, Activism, Bible, Christianity, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, God, Human Rights, Racism, Rape, Rape Culture, Sexual Violence, Social Justice, Violence, Violence Against Women, War and Peace

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30 replies

  1. Just like you, Karen, I’m too am outraged with DT’s misogynism and sexism. In addition, I’m outraged with his “gas lighting” (blatant lying). He’s a living example of the statement Judge Judy articulated some time back: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so appreciate this! We are taught as women not to get angry, well too bad I’m pissed! I wrote a piece about marching in D.C. too that I would love to share with you :) https://carlypuch.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/when-you-tell-us-to-be-quiet-we-get-louder-thoughts-from-marching-in-d-c/

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  3. I am (if I need a label) a pagan, probably born that way. But I was raised as a Christian, the daughter and granddaughter and great granddaughter and even further back than that. At the core of my father and grandfather’s faith was this well-known passage from Matthew 25. I was naked and ye clothed, hungry and ye gave me to eat, thirty and ye gave me drink, sick and ye visited me, in prison and ye came to me in as much as you have done it on to these the least my brethren, you have done it onto me. (paraphrased from memory). He goes on to say that failure to do so is also rendered onto him. My father was fond of pointing out that Jesus was not just talking about individuals but nations! Yes, I am outraged and I am outraged by the overwhelming support of some Christian communities for this president and for the Republican agenda. “I was sick and ye gutted the affordable care act…”

    Not to let anyone off the hook. Everyone (pagans, atheists etc…) must face what is happening and find a way to stand. This week’s storm of executive memos has hurt women’s health worldwide, the water protectors at Standing Rock and in other places, people south and north of The Wall, Muslim refugees, and the list goes on. All of the people affected by these policies are, according to the Gospel, Christ himself. As a pagan, I believe that holiness dwells not just in humans but in the waters, the ground, the air, the plants, the animals and birds who lives and habitat are also being destroyed.

    So in answer to your question, yes! And I hope Christians who live by the heart of Jesus’s essential message will make their words heard and their actions speak!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karen, I neglected to say: thank you for being one of those Christians who embodies the Gospel!

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  5. I wish there were more so-called Christians who knew what the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount are. Who read and pondered the Beatitudes. What’s especially awful is that the Troll-in-Chief is not the first sexual predator to be POTUS. Warren G. Harding’s mistress had a child. And look at JFK and Bill Clinton and their reputations. Women around the world are outraged. For good reason.

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  6. Brutal and truthful essay – Like you I have worked with women who have been abused – and it’s this horror that makes misogyny so terrifying in a president – story after story – I have dozens of them – and it starts the same way with “If you didn’t… “(fill in the blaming blank)… The perpetrator makes threats, boasts, leaves guns lying about, smashes furniture, kills animals, and eventually the woman in question is beaten or worse…I am OUTRAGED that we have a man as president that makes a joke out of brutalizing women psychologically if not literally. We cannot TOLERATE siding with abusers. We have to unite just as we did at the Women’s March and bring this guy down. Radical, maybe – but we just have to get that bastard out of the oval office – somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so outraged that it even hurts to breathe…

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  8. Thanks Karen. As regards your question on outrage? That’s the point I think and thus it encourages us to liberate ourselves maybe a little more strenuously. And I love that protest photo!

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  9. I’m not sure if I’m more disgusted with DT or the people who support him. Saw a drawing online the other day representing Jesus with suitcases “moving back into the White House” now that Donald is in charge. Doesn’t that person know that the only times Jesus was in a government building he was tortured and executed. (Herod and Pilate) And the Boston Globe indicates DT is now turning his attention to Muslims.

    But – the Mayor of Boston (I think I have the correct city) publicly stated that everyone is welcome there. If needed he’ll use City Hall to house refugees. And if they lose Federal funding they will deal with that. And women all over the world marched and said “no” and I will continue to march and write letters to the paper to prevent certain politicians here from gaining power. When I get upset I remind myself of two things: my “job” is to live the Gospel of Jesus not of Donald, and, what’s the worst that can happen to me? I’m 78, why be boring and die in bed. We seniors need to oil the wheels on our walkers and hit the streets.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What the election of Donald Trump shows is that millions of people are more concerned with their own well-being and life-style than with the character of their president. They perceived they gained nothing from Mr Obama and this man promised the earth.
    Politics does not work on the personal merits of the would be elected but on the perception of the voters. The treatment of the under-dog is not high in voters minds.

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    • You are, sadly correct. It is a selfish movement. A movement that is worried about “my cost of healthcare” while others die. It is a movement of, “well, men will be men. That’s just locker room talk.” It is inconceivable to me. It truly is…

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      • So we must question the point of protest since it is overruled by human nature. Offer human nature what it wants and you will be elected.
        Now we know that religion has not cured the selfish side of human nature , many Christians twist the gospel to suit their nature rather than change it. We know education is no guarantee of freedom from selfishness especially since many highly educated people side with ISIS.
        I think we see the answer in those of great- heart who lead by example and lead lives of dedication to others.

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  11. I’m outraged too. I’m a life-long liberal, but I would jump for joy to see Kasich in office or even Rubio. I’m appalled by the same things that appall you. My blog is mainly focused on spirituality, so I interact with a lot of people who detest Trump but keep reminding me to focus on love for the world. I would like to focus on love for someone who can counteract this man and help all of us who oppose him organize. Do you have any idea who this might be? I’m going to watch Sister Giant with Marianne Williamson and Bernie Saunders. I like what she has to say in opposition. I’m a fan of Jackson Katz and many voices in the world today, but I’m not sure how to shift attention from Trump and on to someone else. I’d love you thoughts on this…

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    • I agree. The attention needs to be diverted from Trump to those that are doing other things to fight his ignorance. I would say to focus on everything and everyone that is doing this. AND, there are a lot of organizations that are taking a stand, sanctuary cities that are saying they will remain, and so many more. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity. Thank you for the reminder that we need to look more at the positive.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Powerful post. Since reading it this morning I have been struggling to emotionally process the description of the rape involving the mother and son. FAR editors, have you considered a policy requiring a trigger warning? I have never felt the need for one before, but I fell into an emotional black hole after reading this. Yes, we need to know these unspeakable things, but we also need to stay functional. We need to have choices that allow us to take care of ourselves. Many of us are sexual assault survivors. I probably would have continued reading if there had been a trigger warning, but I would have had a chance to ready myself, and also – perhaps above all – I would have felt tended to, and thus connected to the incredibly powerful care and kindness of this community, which would have helped immensely. Thanks for considering this request.

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    • Thank you so much laurabusheikin for your suggestion. It is indeed a good idea to include a trigger warning, and we often do. We somehow missed doing so on this. I really appreciate you raising the point – it is important. Thank you!

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    • Thank you, Laura. I apologize profusely for this piece triggering you. That was not my intention. We did put up a TW, but, I again am so sorry. I appreciate your honesty and attention to this.

      Blessings,
      Karen

      Like

  13. This has to do with the fact that our POTUS is a sexist, misogynistic, racist human being.” And he doesn’t even know it.

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  14. Do not be angry! it is a waste of energy. Be positive! Apparently states can leave the union after a referendum. Calexit has already begun.

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