Donald Trump and some of his supporters want you to believe that his vile comments about women on a recently released video are just typical “locker room banter.” Trump is 100 percent wrong — unless that locker room is in a prison where sexual predators are jailed.
The words Trump used are not the typical language used by men to describe women — in or out of a locker room. I say that as someone who played ice hockey on my high school and college team and have heard guys in locker rooms say lots of things about women — some awful. And still Trump’s comments, made when he was 59 years old, are far more appalling than those of guys in their late teens and early twenties.
I was raised in North Jersey at a time when the concept of “political correctness” was not even known. Yes, many young men spoke in ways that objectified women, commenting in detail on how “hot” certain women were and sharing their desire to hook up with them. And many bragged about their “sexual conquests” in an effort to impress us.
But I never ever heard a man boast or even talk about kissing or groping women without their consent like Trump did: “I just start kissing them…Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Trump later added, “Grab them by the pu**y. You can do anything.”
This is bragging about sexually assaulting women, since that is exactly what kissing or touching women without their consent is. It’s that simple.
Yet Trump and some supporters want you to believe that his comments were just “guys being guys.” On Sunday Rudy Giuliani, while calling Trump’s remarks “horrible,” told CNN’s Jake Tapper “but the fact is that men at times talk like that.”
To his credit Tapper responded forcefully, “I have been in locker rooms. I have been a member of a fraternity. I have never heard any man, ever, brag about being able to maul women because they get away with it — never.”
Trump’s wealthy backers, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, disturbingly offered a similar defense with their statement, “We are completely indifferent to Mr. Trump’s locker room braggadocio.”
“Indifferent” to someone bragging about sexual assault? I sincerely hope no women in their family are ever subjected to what Trump boasted he had done to other people’s daughters.
Even given Trump’s history, his comments in this video are mind-blowing. And that is saying a lot, considering Trump has made countless remarks demeaning women — calling them a “pig,” a “slob” and a “bimbo,” and tweeting that “Hillary Clinton couldn’t satisfy her husband what makes you think she could satisfy America?”
Why would Trump think he could get away with his degrading words and possibly even touching women inappropriately? Well, as he told us in the video: “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.” While I’m not comparing Trump to Bill Cosby, it does conjure up the same mindset. When it comes to women, some rich male celebrities appear to think they can get away with doing anything they want.
Trump’s track record in defending famous men who have allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct makes this episode even more troubling. Most recently he defended former Fox News chief and Trump campaign adviser Roger Ailes against claims that Ailes sexually harassed over 20 women by questioning whether the female victims were telling the truth.
In 1992, Trump publicly defended Mike Tyson against rape charges even after he had been convicted, claiming Tyson was “railroaded.” Worse, Trump in essence blamed the victim for being raped by saying, “You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will.”
And Trump, who will likely raise the issue of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual misconduct at tonight’s debate, also has slammed the women who made allegations against Clinton by saying, “His victims are terrible… a terrible group of people” and even called some of them “unattractive.”
To say Trump is simply saying typical guy stuff is absolutely wrong. Trump is not the typical guy. He is a celebrity who has for years despicably demeaned women, bragged about possibly sexually assaulting women and defended men involved in (alleged) sexual improprieties.
This is just more proof to add to an avalanche of evidence that Trump should never, ever serve as president of the United States of America.