“What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” a book written by E. Jean Caroll, may seem like an average book on the average complaints women have against our male counterparts. However, the Elle Magazine advice columnist writes on serious, deep topics, one regarding sexual assault. According to CNN, Caroll made a sexual assault claim against President Donald J. Trump. Her book mentions details of the allegations, as she further claims the assault occurred in a New York luxury department store while she was gift shopping back in the ‘90s.

CNN further reported that excerpts were published Friday, June 21 in New York Magazine. The printed first-person account does not appear to name Trump, but he is named in the headline of New York Magazine’s post that states, “Hideous Men: Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life.”

Trump responded on Saturday, June 22 to the allegations by denying them and stating, “I have no idea who this woman is. This is a woman who’s also accused other men of things, as you know. It is a totally false accusation,” Trump said. “I think she was married, as I read. I have no idea who she is,” CNN stated.

There is a lot going on lately, like debates for the 2020 United States presidential election and the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Some people may be inclined to believe others are desperate and willing to do anything they can to get Trump out of office. 

It is shocking that Donald Trump has had, according to CNN, at least 15 other women come forward with a range of accusations from sexual harassment and assualt to lewd behavior. While he is a public figure, that is a lot of women coming forward. It also doesn’t help Trump’s case much that these  accusations followed the surfacing of a 2005 Access Hollywood video showing Trump bragging that “He was able to grab women ‘by the p**sy’ because he was famous.” This was during his 2016 campaign.

Back in 2016, Vox shared a quote by Trump during a rally in North Carolina, where he stated in regards to former U.S. President Barack Obama, “Why doesn’t some women maybe come up and say what they say falsely about me, they could say about him? They could say it about anybody.” Trump wondered why Obama hadn’t been accused in the same way he was being accused.

In this situation, it’s pretty revealing that at this time in 2016, Obama had nothing of this nature occur to him, yet Trump had 15 allegations all before he was even elected. In fact, his argument on Obama simply made him look worse.

It was also interesting how Trump called Obama “incompetent” acccording to Vox, while Obama wasn’t even the one to have such serious allegations made against him in the first place. It’s as if Trump tried to put the attention on someone else, but failed and still does due to his harsh nature and tactics.

While the 2015 Access Hollywood video was caught on camera, Caroll was not able to obtain security footage from the department store where she was supposedly harassed by Trump. They no longer had it from that time period of when she claimed the incident occurred. Again, Trump’s argument is that Caroll has no proof, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the accusations should be deemed a lie. 

In the excerpts of Caroll’s book, presented by New York Magazine, Caroll dives back into a detailed and haunting past, stating facts and disclaimers. It’s hard for some people to understand why Caroll waited so long to share this information, but Caroll explained that “receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun. Also, I am a coward.” Caroll did however state in the excerpts that she told two friends after the incident happened.

It takes a lot to write that transparently about yourself and others, especially when the topic is very serious and sensitive. For someone to put this much time, effort and emotion into a work, just for it to be a complete lie seems unlikely, but again I cannot claim I know what really transpired between the two that day.

What I can say is, while a case like this is difficult, the best we can do as a country is practice fair and practical protocols, as well as treat one another with respect and dignity. As I was not there, I can’t say which party is lying or which one is telling the truth. That is not fair. The best idea is to hear both sides out equally and allow the proper individuals to assess any other information further.

It’s important to listen to all citizens in regards to any serious claim, which in this case is sexual assault. In this country, we have the right to be treated fairly and equally. You must put aside the rest; even if the allegations are made against someone as powerful as our president.

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