Written by Lucy Nichol

In The News

It’s checkout time

The latest episode in Donald Trump’s horrificness offers the world an opportunity to take a very public swing at sexual abuse, suggests Lucy Nichol.

Photo by James Edward ‘Ed’ Westcott, via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by James Edward ‘Ed’ Westcott, via Wikimedia Commons.

I’m 38. Three whole years past Donald Trump‘s ‘use by’ date. So I suppose I shall always regret not letting the man down the dark alleyway kiss me at approximately 2.30am on New Year’s Day, 2000. What was I thinking?

Even though they vehemently protested, I ditched my friends to go wandering down the old railway track looking for my boyfriend who was nowhere to be seen, having taken himself on a chemically-induced walk in the wilderness. So I turned back and found myself alone. And all of a sudden feeling much less confident than I did in the pub an hour earlier.

The jitters kicked in as I saw a shadowy man turn the corner. He approached me and demanded a New Year’s kiss. He must have wanted my under-35 year-old body because he demanded it. Twice.

I coyly chuckled and walked on quickly the first time. Maybe he thought I was being aloof. So, the second time, he barked the words at me in a darker, more menacing tone. I (foolishly?) said no, so he put a rip in the front of my favourite black vest top. It was my favourite because it was really pretty with subtle little flowers in the fabric and cute little buttons down the back.

But as my top was torn, I yanked myself around the corner to face the busier street and the man kind of backed off. As he disappeared into the darkness, I legged it full speed over the road towards a girl who was on her way to the curry house. She put her arm around me, walked me into the restaurant and found me a mobile phone to call a friend (they were pretty scarce back then).

I never reported that man. Or the man who flashed at me and a friend on the same street about three years earlier. Or the man that grabbed my friend’s hand at a party as she came out of the loo where he was loitering outside, mid-wank.

The fact he was carrying a broken guitar makes me wonder if we weren’t the first people he offended that day. My brave friend stood up in the middle of the room and asked him to admit what he had just done. He didn’t. So she told the other partygoers herself. And the man quickly left (swiftly followed by an incensed friend who was seemingly ready to batter broken guitar man. Although, thankfully for said friend, I don’t think he ever caught up with him).

“As you say, Donald, it’s ‘checkout time’ for women over 35. And we should all feel terrible about it because people like you, like the man down the dark alleyway, and the flasher man, and the man in the suit and the man with the broken guitar, won’t attempt to sexually assault us anymore.”

There were times when I did tell, though. Like when the man in the suit said to me, “Don’t tell anybody, but I’m going to take you out one night next week.” I was a shy 17-year-old on work experience. He was in his late 30s, perhaps. His colleagues had just finished a collection for his newborn baby daughter. I spoke to the boss and I told on him. I moved departments. I don’t recall him having to move anywhere.

The same thing happened with a friend, although it was far more serious. She told on him and she moved. He didn’t.

So when I look back, Donald, perhaps the only way for me, a past-my-best 38-year-old who pales in comparison to your good looks and exuberant charm, is to say, “Damn! I missed out on that kiss. And on that date. And it’s not like I get offers anymore, being over 35.”

Because, as you say, Donald, it’s “checkout time” for women over 35. And we should all feel terrible about it because people like you, like the man down the dark alleyway, and the flasher man, and the man in the suit and the man with the broken guitar, won’t attempt to sexually assault us anymore.

Which I’m guessing, given that you are still running for president after admitting that you “grab ’em by the pussy”, is perfectly legal in 2016. Meanwhile, I have to pay £30 for being spotted in a bus lane for all of four seconds last month.

My memories are very detailed. Probably because they had a big impact on me. But they could have been much, much worse. And I can only dare to imagine the imprint that much, much worse leaves on people.

It’s 2016. Donald Trump has given us the perfect material to publicly tackle sexual abuse on a global scale. To let people know that it isn’t OK. That it will be taken seriously. That speaking out isn’t in vain. And that perpetrators will be dealt with.

So what are we going to do about it? Put him in charge of the USA? Or cripple his disgusting campaign? People have the power to save us from this dangerous moron and I wish they would bloody hurry up and do it; it’s having a major effect on my anxiety levels!

It’s his checkout time, not mine.


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Written by Lucy Nichol

Neurotic hen-keeper, feline friend and mental health blogger. Prone to catastrophisation and over excitement at the garden centre. Caution: do not give Diet Coke after dark.