Reality hit me last Thursday. I had taken a break from work and briefly attended the anti-Donald Trump rally in front of Portland City Hall.

At one point, I looked at the campaign buttons being sold by the Trump supporters. Two buttons, in particular, stood out to me: “Life’s A Bitch, So Don’t Vote For One” (over a face of Hillary Clinton) and “Trump 2016: Finally Someone With (Testicles).”

I had read about the inappropriate, prejudiced and degrading comments being made at the Trump campaign stops, at the Republican convention and among his supporters, but for the first time, came face to face with them on the streets of Portland. For some reason that I can’t quite explain, this felt personal and I am outraged.

What makes a presidential candidate a “bitch”? The fact that she is an intelligent, strong, assertive woman who has served in powerful positions and has ideas that she can articulate? Why is having testicles a reason to vote for someone? How crude and off-target in a presidential election to have these comments printed on campaign buttons.

Some may think I have no sense of humor, but that isn’t true. I believe that words are powerful. As a therapist, I have worked with so many women over the years to increase their sense of self-esteem and empowerment, helping women find and use their voices, and the Trump campaign uses words that demean and degrade women, words that legitimize abuse.

I am appalled, and I urge any of you reading this to think about the words that we, and, more importantly, our children are seeing and hearing during this campaign and to strongly reject their use and the bullying tone of the Trump campaign.

Barbara Peisner