Flickr photo by Devon Buchanan

Crotch-grabbing not necessarily sexual, according to Spokane judge


By Corbin Croy

Written in response to the Inlander article, “Spokane judge cites Trump’s ‘pussy’ grabbing in decision on assault of young woman.”

A 16-year-old male grabbed a 15-year-old girl’s crotch three times, and while he was convicted on assault, the allegation that this was sexual in nature was dismissed. Thus, according to the court, grabbing a girl’s privates is the same as grabbing her arm, unless it can be proved that the act was sexually motivated. What does this mean? It means that it is no longer inherently sexual to grab a person’s sexual organs.

According to the Inlander, Spokane Judge James Triplet followed the reasoning that our culture has accepted the banality of human sexuality, and because of this it cannot be intrinsically sexual to grab a person’s genitals. Sources, such as our current president, were cited as evidence that pop culture views sexual exploitation to be motivated by power and masculinity rather than by the abuser’s desire for sexual gratification. When world leaders can brag openly about grabbing women’s privates, why should teenage boys be punished more severely when they try to act like their elders? Now, there is no question that what this young man did was wrong. He was found guilty of his crime, but his punishment would have been more severe had it been considered a sex crime.

Christians should be outraged by this decision. But the problem is that the source of this injustice is the paragon of all evangelical hope to correct all the wrongs done in our country since prayer was taken out of schools. Christians elected Trump into office, Christians like Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ben Carson, who lifted Trump up as if he were God’s chosen prophet who would overturn Roe v. Wade and restore God’s place in our schools and public institutions. And now Trump is being used by the courts to make sexual assault a normal thing. We wanted to protect unborn babies and now we have just made it easier to sexually victimize young girls.

I understand that most Christians were given little to no option to elect Trump into office, but before Trump took on Hillary in the presidential election he had to defeat his Republican peers in the primaries. It is those Christians who supported him during the primaries who are most responsible for this outcome. It may be unfair to think that the pro-life movement is solely responsible for this development, but those who jumped on the Trump bandwagon early on did seem mostly interested in the pro-life agenda. They were also strong nationalists in the Fundamentalist tradition of Christianity, being the ideology that believes that the ultimate vision for the Christian faith is to make America a Christian nation.

Unfortunately, as “holy” as this mission might be for most Christians, the sad reality is that women suffer. The pro-life and Christian-right agenda may sound righteous and motivated by genuine Christian principles, but when the rubber meets the road who are the ones who will pay the price for this new ideology? It will not be the politicians. It will not be the businessmen. Like the 15 year old girl who had her genitals grabbed by an older male has learned, the victims of the new moral high ground are going to be women. When abortions become illegal, it won’t be the doctors who truly suffer. It will be women who have to care for unwanted pregnancies or resort to back-alley abortions in unsafe conditions.

I am deeply concerned for the state of affairs for women as our nation moves forward with Trump as our president, and this is one verifiable case study of how women will suffer with Trump in office. No matter what you think will be accomplished in the political process, there will always be those who suffer from the choices made with good intentions. The victims and the marginalized in our society are a telling sign of what system of power we have unleashed upon the public.

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The judge is correct. If he had said any touching of the crotch was sexual, parents and doctors could be imprisoned for bathing and medical attention, or simply holding younger children.

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