My heart hurts. My soul hurts.
Several weeks have gone by now, and I’ve been listening to the media and even close family members excuse away Trump’s behavior on a number of issues that blow my mind. But now we have a new phrase; the ‘locker room’ excuse, in response to his words on a leaked tape. Grabbing pussy and forcing himself on women? Classy, just the sort of talk I know I want to hear from the future leader of my country.
This is just one more excuse in a long line of a very public and systemic attack against women that goes back decades. Whether it’s judging women’s appearance either by insisting that we aren’t beautiful enough for his high standards, or we have gotten too fat, or by simply lying about non existent sex tapes to humiliate a woman he’s previously insulted via an uncontrollable 3am twitter rant. Trump has a nasty habit of publicly calling women “pigs, slobs, and dogs”. He insulted and bullied journalist Megyn Kelly after the debate she moderated for having the audacity to ask him to defend his own words. His lowest low, he used menstruation as an insult to a woman that was doing her job.
This isn’t new. He has spent his life, much of it public and on record, objectifying and debasing women, including one my favorite lines, “Women, you have to treat ‘em like shit.” Yeah, we love that.
Here’s the thing though, this isn’t ‘locker room’ talk. This isn’t dirty talk between guys and this isn’t talking about sex. This isn’t the way normal guys talk about women, or dating, or sex. Just look at the number of professional athletes who hang out in locker rooms fairly regularly who have bashed the media calling this locker room talk. Men are appalled by Trump’s words. Appalled that their daughters would be talked to like that. This kind of talk that Trump is shrugging off, and the media and many of you are letting him shrug off, is talk about sexual assault. Forcing yourself upon women unasked. This is lack of consent.
When you explain this away as a non-issue in the media and public discourse, you need to remember that our sons and daughters are watching. At a time where college and high school sexual assault is off the chart, nearing an epidemic on our campus. In a country where one in three women are sexually assaulted. This isn’t something we can be making excuses for ever. Those of us who have been raped, sexually assaulted, or sexually harassed are fighting tooth and nail to discuss consent in real ways with young men BEFORE they assault women. 1 in 3 women – that means you know at least one woman who has endured the crime of sexual assault. Who has not given consent. Who has lain there wondering, “why me?” as your life is ripped apart by a man who felt it was his right to take what he wanted. If you’re in my family you know at least two. Probably more.
You cannot excuse this away. His entire campaign, his entire life, he has shown his true colors. You just don’t seem to care. Why? As Maya Angelou said so succinctly, “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.”
Why don’t we believe him when he says what he says over and over and over again, in public, on tape, on tv, in debates, on twitter? Is it the same reason that when over thirty women accused Bill Cosby of rape that you didn’t believe them. Because Bill Cosby was on our tv and we thought we knew him like a real family member? The only difference is, Bill Cosby hid his predatory history. Trump’s is front and center and bragging on tape.
And he still has your vote?
Abusive language, predatory talk, do not automatically make a man a rapist. Just a misogynist that has no right to hold public office of any kind.
This is a man whose own wife accused him of rape under oath. There are multiple cases filed against him for sexual assault harassment. MULTIPLE. Google it, its all there, recently reported on and fact checked. I’m not going to waste my time delving into it all, you can easily find out all you need to. It pains me to tell you to dig into other victim’s lives in order to prove to you that Trump is a predator, a misogynist, and wholly unqualified to be a leader. I shouldn’t have to. His own words should be enough prove.