Well, by now I’m sure you’ve all heard about Trump’s misogynistic and somehow-not-campaign-devastating remark he made back in the 90s to Billy Bush about “grabbing women by the p***y.”
If you haven’t, I’m going to assume you’ve been living under a rock somewhere without the internet. (You should leave. I bet there are bugs under the rock. Squishy ones.)
Perhaps after that, you watched the most recent Presidential Debate, thinking, “Surely, he will apologize. You can’t just say things like that. You CAN’T.”
Turns out, YOU CAN! Provided you
- Are a man, and
- Call it “Locker Room Talk”
You don’t have to apologize for Locker Room Talk! It’s just stuff guys say, you know, when they’re hanging out together, being all macho, and there’s no women around! You can say whatever you want about women as long as they’re not there! NOTHING COUNTS IF THERE’S NO WOMEN! WE CAN LIVE LIKE CAVEMEN! THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!!!!
That’s right. I’m calling bullshit, America, and I’m going to tell you why.
The things we say have meaning and weight no matter where you say them or to whom they’re said. When you use violent, demoralizing, degrading speech, it matters. It matters, because it says something about your character. It matters, because when someone else matters so little to you, that you can make their safety, their boundaries, and their bodies a joke, it says that you consider them beneath you.
Dear Women: Unless your name is Ivanka, Donald Trump thinks he and other men have the right to harm you and be violent towards you, because you are less than human. You are a joke. Sexual assault is hilarious. Here’s your rape.* (If your name is Ivanka, you are his daughter, and he apparently wants to date you. This is, quite frankly, uncomfortable for a myriad of reasons.)
Dear Men: By calling this kind of speech “just locker room talk” and by acting like it’s no big deal, Donald Trump is perpetuating violence in your names. He is literally saying that “all men” think like this, speak like this, and indeed act like this, as long as there are no women to police your actions. You should be insulted. You should be outraged that this is the example he is setting for young men and women. That the idea of men violating women is so underwhelming that it is just “locker room talk.” It is no big deal. It is not worth an apology.
This is a man who does not value at least fully half of the people of this country. He is running to be your President. He is running to represent us all.
And he thinks that two tic tacs will be enough to make the words coming out of his mouth any less disgusting.
*If you have time, I recommend clicking on the “Here’s Your Rape” link. It goes to a YouTube video of a comedy set by Ever Mainard, and if you are a woman alive today, you will probably laugh with that uncomfortable “been there” feeling. It is probably NSFW without headphones or a private office.