An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Posted: Oct 15, 2016 12:01 AM
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An Open Letter to Michelle Obama

Dear Mrs. Obama,

I watched your speech at Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally on Thursday. As a victim of sexual assault, I appreciate your words about the seriousness of the issue. As I wrote earlier this week, I too disagree with Donald Trump’s statements. They were disgusting.

But I think that we should talk for a moment about what you did Thursday. If this were a speech in the Rose Garden or at a White House press conference, I would probably be writing a different letter right now. Instead you used this moment and this speech to empower Hillary Clinton and so missed the opportunity to have a real conversation about assault.

You mentioned that there were harsh words said about women in this election, relating them to Donald Trump. One of your key allies, Cecile Richards, also said degrading comments about women while speaking at a Clinton rally in April, likening women who support Sen. Ted Cruz to chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. Do you endorse this comment about women’s intellects? Do you stand by her remarks?

One thing you forgot to relate in your New Hampshire speech is that the woman you were speaking for at the rally, Hillary Clinton, has enabled her husband to continue his pattern of disgusting sexual assaults her entire married life. What does that tell young women? Because to me, it tells them that if you’re the president of the United States, it’s okay for you to rape and molest women and get away with it. It tells me that a woman can help her husband avoid jail time so that she can further her political career. It also tells me that women are fine with allowing sexual predators avoid justice. That is sick.

You brought up fathers and sons. You said that we need to build up good fathers and good sons to respect women. My father is one of these men. He was the first person to come to my aid after my assault and he stood behind me in Court and has stood by ever since. Fathers who watch their daughters go through experiences like this go through it with their daughters. And there are fathers who have not been able to see justice for their daughters because of your candidate’s manipulative behavior. And that is wrong.

Mrs. Obama, you said that you are standing by a woman in the race who “embodies the values that we teach our young people.” Are you suggesting that we are teaching our young people that justice is ok sometimes, but only when that person isn’t president? Are you suggesting that only some survivors of sexual assault should be given justice?

If you want to have a real conversation about sexual assault, Mrs. Obama, let’s have it. But do not try to have it while on the campaign trail for a woman who has enabled a sexual predator and taken justice away from his victims.


Mary Powers