At first I thought the locker rooms Donald Trump had in mind in explaining his crude comments about women were those used by sports teams. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to think so, as numerous professional athletes and sports journalists rejected Trump’s contention of such offensive locker-room banter (http://nyti.ms/2dQbaUX).
Then it hit me. The locker rooms Trump had in mind were those at the ritzy, exclusive golf clubs he owns where powerful corporate titans feel empowered to say what they want about women, where their exploits—real and imagined—make them feel superior.
It is in the locker rooms of the entitled where high testosterone men strut their conquests, alleged and real. Trump is a modern day incarnate of Don Draper and his Mad Men cohorts of the 1950s and 1960s, where account executives like Pete could essentially rape and impregnate secretaries like Peggy without consequence.
Until now, most women who were assaulted by such baseless men reacted as Peggy did. They hid their predicament. If there is any silver lining to Trump’s exposure it is that women are stepping forward to uncover his chronic, abusive behavior (http://nyti.ms/2dYsUQ7).
Perhaps they will be examples to women in all walks of life who have had to live with systemic sexual assaults.
Trump has denied all alleged sexual assaults, but as with his denial of support for the invasion of Iraq, a tape from Howard Stern’s radio show trips him up. In 2006, during a lengthy interview, he did not object when Stern sidekick Robin Quivers called him a “sexual predator.”
He smiled and shrugged his shoulders in confirmation. All this while daughter Ivanka and son Donald Jr. sat next to him (https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomgara/heres-trumps-response-to-being-called-a-sexual-predator?utm_term=.sb8ZlQlbN#.cwEMpNpBw).
False Equivalency: I reject the notion of equal guilt associated with the gutter-level discourse of the presidential campaign.
I’m tired of equal distribution of guilt for the quality and tenor of the campaign. Let’s look at the primary campaigns of both parties: Democrats engaged in dialogue on issues worthy of would-be party nominees. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley didn’t insult each other. They debated policy. They argued about gun control. Trade policy. Health care. Income inequality. Support for student debt and college tuition.
Meanwhile, almost entirely egged on by Trump, Republicans argued about the size of hands and sex organs. Trump labeled his adversaries as “lyin,” “little” and “low energy,” while hardly ever discussing policy differences. For their part they called him a pathological liar, a sniveling coward, the biggest narcissist in American history, a con artist, uninformed, scary, a jerk, a clown, disgusting, a cancer and a barking carnival act, to name just a handful of epithets cast Trump’s way.
The name calling, and worse, have carried over to the main campaign. “Crooked, lyin’ Hillary,” Trump calls her. He’s intimated she should be stopped by gun toting members of the NRA. At last Sunday’s debate he said he wanted her jailed.
He’s maligned veterans suffering from PTSD. He’s verbally attacked a former Miss Universe. Hillary has characterized his demeanor and temperament as unfit for the presidency. Yet, she has not labeled him with defamatory appellations, as his fellow party members have.
Any attempt to assess equal blame for the sleazy level of discourse in the run to the White House is wrong, misguided and in a very real sense another form of sexual assault on a woman whose only guilty of wanting to break the ultimate glass ceiling.