Simon Williamson, columnist with Georgia Voice

Simon Willamson: Misunderstanding ‘lewd’

I suffered several near heart attacks as the national media spent the last fortnight using “lewd” to describe Donald Trump’s comments about sexually assaulting women. By now you have likely read multitudes of explanations about why mixing up “lewdness” and using your power to force women to accede to your expressive, rapey hands is a bad idea. One of the absolute dumbest takes on the whole thing was by a senior editor of a conservative website which read “Who knew it took Trump to make the left so conservative about sex!”

This, my friends, is the fight we still have ahead of us. The concoction of “lewd” and rape-by-hand applies to those of us who believe that sex can happen outside the realms of heterosexual baby-making. While the world likes us a lot more than it did a few years ago, we are still on the spectrum of societally dodgy things. These things are wonderful, and should be embraced, as far as I am concerned, and it would be great if everyone had the option of fucking their way to happiness under any consensual circumstances, with PrEP and condoms falling from the sky for safety, and sex toys and batteries growing naturally to be picked at a moment’s whim.

But this doesn’t sit as well with the rest of the world as I would like. The legal and political fights we have to continually endure are largely due to the fact that people don’t like what we do with, or how much we defer to the denotation of, our genitals. The fact that some of us openly discuss “lewd” things we like to do, and the idea that we might get our jollies in manners different from sex-ed recommended fornication gets us grouped, in the minds of many, with Donald Trump’s violation of the law.

But, obviously, what we do isn’t that. There is a very clear line between “lewd” and sex devoid of consent. Sex without consent is, at minimum, sexual assault, an activity being bragged about by one of the two people who might next lead the world’s most influential country, and his minions, and, indirectly, headline writers around the country, are equating his activities to sex in the bum, bathroom or Berlin club.

I do my best to listen to the dwindling conservative half of the country, because it is always important to hear why people think what they do. But I have found it difficult to forgive the multi-generational war waged against our people, which continues in many places (for example, the Republican primary) even today. The continual torture of the LGBT youth of the U.S., whose birthplace or parentage leaves them without a support system, remains a vivid result of the world created by the moralistic retrogrades that turned our basic freedoms into a political issue that they thought we would forever lose.

Even though we didn’t, we still have some holes to climb out of, like being linked to the Republican nominee for president, and his power to make women comply with being grabbed by the pussy, his penchant for deciding who is decent-looking enough to be sexually assaulted, his insufferable entitlement to think every woman needs to look how he wants and the manner in which he dotes on little girls.

All we actually want is to be able to have our own goddamn sex. Being grouped with Trump’s molestations and pervasive behavior regarding children is sinfully wrong. Stop doing it. We might be “lewd” but we sure as hell ain’t bragging as a collective about forcing ourselves onto people who don’t want it.