Image via Media Matters.

During an appearance on last night’s The Last Word on MSNBC, political writer and commentator Ana Marie Cox eloquently explained why the multiple sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump are particularly important to women voters.

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Host Lawrence O’Donnell asks Cox about the latest allegations, reported by the New York Times, that Trump sexually assaulted Rachel Crooks who, at the time of the 2005 assault, was a receptionist at a real estate development company located in the Trump Tower. Crooks alleges that Trump kissed her on the cheeks and on the mouth without her consent. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” she told the Times.

Cox spoke directly and emotionally about Crooks’ powerlessness, the then 22-year-old’s feeling that she had no recourse against a powerful man like Trump. Crooks’ boyfriend at the time of the alleged assault told the newspaper, “I remember her saying, ‘I can’t do anything to this guy because he’s Donald Trump.’”

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In response to the allegations and Crooks’ powerlessness, Cox said:

I would be so shocked if the other two women that you’re speaking to haven’t had something similar happen to them. Something like that happened to me when I was young and I couldn’t do anything about it. That is what happens to women.

[...]

There are women that want to show that’s not possible. There are women that want to say, no it doesn’t allow you to do anything, and I’m going to show you by voting against you.

Here’s the full exchange:

Cox’s comments are a clear rejoinder to Trump surrogates who have claimed that the Times’ story “trivializes” sexual assault. According to this line of thinking, being forcibly kissed and having no recourse other than to endure kissing and groping is not sexual assault. As always, it’s a definition of sexual assault determined by convenience rather than reality.