Bragging About Sexual Assualt is NOT Locker-Room Talk
It's time for a little frank talk about pussy-grabbing, words I never imagined stringing together. If you haven't been in a coma the last two years, you know the 'verb' pussy-grabbing because our current President entered it into our zeitgeist by using it to describe his own behavior while bragging about sexually assualting women, on tape.
In case you were in a coma, congrats on your recovery! I've included both the audio and the transcript below from the Access Hollywood tape.
- Washington Post supplies slides w/ subtitles along w/ the audio.
Transcript: Donald Trump’s Taped Comments About Women
- The transcript is available here via the NYTimes
The best excuse from Trump and the Republican party, other than to drag out Juanita Broaddrick and parade her about, was that this was simply 'locker-room talk'. The implication being such chatter is not only benign, but common, boys being boys. Assigning such behavior as psuedo 'male' bravado is essential to the dodge. It's either a wink and accompanying condescention, "Oh, you wouldn't understand. Man stuff," or it's "Come on guys, we all exaggerate during guy-talk about the ladies."
The best lies (ie. excuses) always contain crumbles of truth.
Further obscuring reason is that plenty of people have met a man they could imagine having (or leading) such a conversation. Those people exist but their asshole training likely happened at home, not the locker-room. Bragging about sexual assualt is not locker-room talk
. It's not guy talk. It's not fishing-boat talk. In fact, from what I hear, it's not even prison-talk.
Let's be clear and fair. Some of the conversation could be accurately labeled guy talk as long as you qualify that these were B-level TV 'stars' acting like pigs to impress one another. Here's where the line unblurs:
"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."
- Donald J. Trump
Not once have I ever heard anything similar. Not in a locker room, not on a fishing boat, not at 3am after everyone had too many, not even at a family reunion.
Oh, you'll hear inappropriate chatter. Perhaps casual bigotry, misogyny, politically incorrect humor and general little boy
behavior. But assualt and specifically sexual assualt is and always has been, unnacceptable. Nobody has evolved on the issue. Nothing to do with #meToo.
The list of motives for bragging about such activities seems narrow under the best of circumstances. Clearer is why Billy Bush would play along, as it was effectively his job to pander his way through the experience. More curious is why Trump felt his ego-starved braggadocio should include sexual assault over the star-struck as opposed to his conquering the field via his obvious abundance of charm. The whopper though is how the Republican party, once driven by a narrative of staunch morals, evangenicals and conservatives, would elect that B-level TV star to the White House.
It's not locker-room talk. It's not guy talk. It's unacceptable.