' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: I am obsessed with the trial of E.J. Carroll against Donald Trump

Monday, May 8, 2023

I am obsessed with the trial of E.J. Carroll against Donald Trump

I am obsessed with the trial of E. Jean Carroll against Donald Trump for defamation. She is me and I am her. I remember the era of the Seventies through the Nineties in which we newly liberated women flirted and tried to carry on like men sexually--throw off the shackles of the past. People openly flirted at the office, sexually laced jokes in nearly every setting were the usual, and we didn't let anything bother us. We were cool, smart, sophisticated. 

But we knew enough not to go to the police when we were raped.  Because we heard the cops wouldn't take us seriously, we thought...well, maybe we shouldn't have worn "hot pants" to work, maybe we did flirt a little too much...maybe--well, the cops wouldn't believe us anyway. And who wanted to be picked over by not only the police, but the D.As who wouldn't bring a case to trial, and god knows, if they did, we knew the opposition lawyers would pick up apart. 

So we carried on, as if...nothing had happened. We were women, we were strong.


That's the cool that E. J. emanates, and honestly I love that she's now tough enough to go to court and lay all this embarrassing stuff out there for the world to pick over. Her trial reminds me of the women I know who were found themselves in situations where they were raped because...to have not been there, at that time, with them alone...would have appeared racist. For myself, someone I had dated a couple of times--and told I didn't want to see anymore over the phone--ended up pounding on my apartment door after midnight, yelling: I know you're in there!! until I let him in. Then he wouldn't leave and I submitted to him. I even hate to admit this today. Why didn't I call the police instead of letting him in to stop the noise? Why didn't I keep him talking for another hour? Because in that moment I was afraid of him. I told myself for years it wasn't assault, but E. Jean's retelling of encounter  encounter with the disgusting Donald Trump reminds me how I felt after my own very different encounter in that time: violated. 

There's something else going on too that relates to giving up a child. So much blame and shame accrued to us as we came out of the experience. When E. Jean said on the stand people see you after as damaged goods, that is how I felt after that night, and most especially after I relinquished my daughter. Damaged Goods. I was damaged when I met my first husband, and I raced into that marriage to cover up the shame, to make myself feel better about myself, to gain some semblance of self-respect. I am all right today, I have carried on but I will take the guilt and sorrow and low self-esteem with me to the grave.--lorraine


  1. Thanks, Lorraine. That helps a lot. As always. Keep on writing. Leslie

  2. Dear Lorraine: Thank you for writing this. Your story is familiar to me as well. As a 20-year-old, newly emigrating to Canada (not wishing to stay may I add, rather to work a lucrative job), I found myself in the Victor Home for unwed mothers in Toronto. That event affected my entire life! I am now 77 and still live here. I wish I had returned to my native England (and my good life there), but shame and secrets kept me here. I married and had daughters. The rape and being coerced to give up my child is a deep and painful sorrow. Kindest regards, Patricia (alive and very well) in Toronto, ON Canada

    1. Thank you, Patricia, alive and well in Toronto. The Toronto Star is one of the places where I interviewed after giving up my daughter. I had been working on the Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle when I had an interview there for a job in metro (NOT the women's dept) but ....when I could not explain my leave of absence from the newspaper with anything that made any sense...I could see the interest flame out in the editor's eyes. Even remembering it now, half a century later is painful. No one should have to go through that again, no one should have to bear a child when they cannot keep that baby. It's why I feel so passionate about a women's right to control her own body, which right now is in such a flux here in the US. Thanks for writing. You might find some comfort in the memoir I wrote for women like us--and the children we lost, Hole In My Heart.



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