On Monday night, supposedly “Arrestmas” Eve (Donald Trump claimed, falsely as usual, that he’d be “arrested” Tuesday), I dreamed about him. I was being held captive by Trump at Mar-a-Lago with a lot of other women. He was more deranged than usual, as he apparently is right now as he awaits arrest. It was terrifying. But somehow I escaped. I didn’t know what would happen next.
We all know dreams work on multiple levels, but on one, this felt straightforward: Trump may soon face the first consequences of his many crimes, and many women will feel liberated, and vindicated, even if we don’t know what’s to come.
Marisa Kabas wrote a piece for Monday that I wish I had, urging people to stop lamenting that it’s the Stormy Daniels hush money case—in which Trump could be prosecuted for falsifying business records—that may produce the first Trump indictment. (Notice I said “first indictment,” because I believe that, though I’m not a lawyer and I have no inside information.) I too have felt irritated with the dismissal of the Daniels case as somehow trivial. Sure, it’s less of a big deal than Trump’s trying to overturn the results of a valid election, inciting violence and insurrection, or even stealing classified documents and resisting returning them when asked to by the Department of Justice.
But it’s not nothing. Crime is crime is crime. Also, as Kabas noted, for many American women, probably millions, there would be something psychically vindicating about seeing Trump brought down, directly or not, by his creepy treatment of a woman. By all accounts, the sex was consensual, which many women, including his late ex-wife Ivana, say wasn’t always the case with Trump. You could even argue that the woman most hurt by it all was his wife Melania, who had just given birth to their son, Barron.
When their sexual encounters became public, Trump denied them, insisting Daniels was just a fan who took a photo with him back in 2005. Then he took to calling her “Horseface,” claiming that this woman clearly blessed with beauty and brains was too ugly to fuck. (He called her “Horseface” again just last week, when it came out that she had just spoken to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.)
This is his modus operandi, of course. He said E. Jean Carroll, who in 2019 accused him of raping her in the mid-1990s, wasn’t his “type.” (Then he mistook her for his ex-wife and former mistress Marla Maples in a series of photos. Oops.) He’s derided his multiple female accusers as too old, too fat, too ugly, or all three to have attracted his unwanted and often brutal sexual attentions.
He bragged on the Access Hollywood video that he could grab women “by the pussy” because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Credibly accused of sexual assault or harassment by at least a dozen women, it seemed impossible that he’d defeat Hillary Clinton and become president. But, tragically, he did.
It’s no accident that millions of women wearing pink “pussy” hats stormed Washington and other cities and towns the day after his inauguration, that the #MeToo movement exploded shortly thereafter, that The Handmaid’s Tale became a hit TV series in the same period, or that Democratic women ran for office in record numbers in 2018. It’s also, sadly, no accident that three right-wing Trump-appointed judges took away a constitutional right that women had known for 50 years. That was their plan.
Meanwhile, once the story of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paying Daniels hush money when Trump learned, just before the 2016 election, that she was getting ready to go public with her story, Daniels faced a wave of abuse from Trump, his allies, and the MAGA faithful. “I’m tired of being threatened” by the then-president and his thugs, Daniels told The View; in April 2018. “And intimidating me and trying to say that you’ll ruin my life and take all of my money and my house or whatever—I’m sorry, I’m done. I’m done being bullied.”
All women, outside the MAGA cult anyway, hope we’re done being bullied by Trump. Many of my friends say it’s too early to celebrate. We’re still waiting for the grand jury to indict. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case may not be strong enough to put Trump in the jail cell he deserves. Other cases, whether by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis or special counsel Jack Smith, might not materialize despite my optimism that they’re coming. It’s OK. If Trump is charged, I’ll raise a glass to Trump’s comeuppance—and to the power of a woman proud of her own sexuality, who couldn’t be shamed about it, helping us all get revenge on a sexual predator who continues to try to assault our democracy.