Dallas High School senior Anna Lehane has made national headlines for the way she is protesting Donald Trump’s comments about women in a 2005 video released last week.
At Trump’s campaign rally at Mohegan Sun Arena on Monday night, Lehane, 18, wore a T-shirt containing the phrase “Grab my p——, I dare you.”
The phrase is in reference to the Trump video, in which he is heard describing his attempts to have sex with a married woman, and also bragging about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
Lehane said she and some friends are designing a website on which which they will sell the T-shirts, and proceeds from the sales will be donated to a charity that advocates against — and works to spread awareness of — sexual violence against women.
Late Friday night, Trump — the Republican presidential nominee — apologized for his remarks, banter he repeatedly has called “locker room talk.” But while his comments caused a firestorm of public reaction, including calls from some GOP leaders for him to quit the presidential race, many of his supporters remain loyal.
Lehane, however, said Trump should not be let off the hook on this one.
“I decided with a few of my friends to go to the Trump rally in silent protest of some of the things that he’s said and came out in the media, and the wide positive reception of a lot of his negative views and his oppressive views toward women,” Lehane told the Times Leader.
The words on her shirt can have several interpretations, she said, “but the biggest is in opposition to the tape that came out of Trump making misogynistic comments against women. It seemed like he’s using gender attributes as something he can use for control over them. I have a vagina, but that doesn’t mean you can control me or that my views are controllable by anyone but myself.”
Elle magazine interviewed Lehane about the shirt the day after the rally. Photos of her wearing the shirt also have made the rounds on Twitter, with one tweet gaining almost 4,000 “likes” after New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel tweeted a picture from the rally in Wilkes-Barre Township and called Lehane a “brave young woman” in another tweet. The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue also picked up the story.
Lehane attended the rally with friends Erin May and Ashlie Alves, also seniors at Dallas, and Noah Frace, a senior at Wyoming Valley West.
“Erin and Noah had the idea to make ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirts, and they asked me if I wanted one made,” Lehane said. “I asked that mine instead say, ‘Grab my p——, I dare you.’”
“I’m not advocating for sexual assault or anything that oppresses women. I’m advocating for empowering women to use their sexuality and gender to stand up for themselves and meet any kind of oppression or negative comments made toward them,” Lehane said.
She said the interview with Elle was “an incredible opportunity to get a powerful message across in a positive way. At the time, I thought it was a way to get a conversation going.”
Reach Steve Mocarsky at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @TLSteveMocarsky.