Keep Your Words Out of My Mouth
Not all men objectify women behind the safety of closed doors, and a running candidate for president should never have claimed that we do.
By Aaron Lynch, Front Range Community College
By now you’ve probably heard about the leaked tape and recording of Donald Trump remarking on trying to seduce a married woman.
Many were struck by the apparent privileges his fame affords him with members of the opposite sex.
At this point I’ve stopped expecting good things to come from the mouth of Donald Trump. In fact, I think I stopped doing that a while ago. Though I may not like a lot of what he says (and think his policies are shit and that he has no idea what he’s doing), the journalist in me supports his right to say whatever he wants.
He is even within his rights to attribute his words to the mouths of every man in the U.S, and he does so by claiming that “all guys do it.” He’s allowed to say that. As a fellow man however, putting sexually violent words in my mouth will undoubtedly coax out my rebuttal.
Not only does the “every guy does it” argument bring all men down to his level, it’s incorrect and strengthens societal misogyny. It establishes that the norm is for men to objectify women and that we all participate. It holds his rhetoric up as an example of the default setting for powerful men when they’re not subjected to the complicated rules of decency. There are sure to have been plenty of women in the last two weeks wondering about just how vulgar the men’s room actually is.
Seriously Mr. Trump, when was the last time you were even in a locker room?
It’s Not About the Sex
Sex is the literal key to life. It’s rare to meet someone who actually doesn’t like it (as far as I can tell). There’s nothing terribly wrong with bragging about someone you slept with to your friends, both guys and gals do it. There’s also nothing wrong with appreciating and discussing an attractive man or woman in a respectful manner; normal people do this as biology dictates.
Some of the words necessary to those conversations would be considered explicit or inappropriate in the wrong settings, like when talking to your boss or going on TV. You know, in professional settings where you want to leave a good impression. Among people you’re comfortable with and who follow your life though, seemingly inappropriate syntax can be heard as perfectly normal.
However, you cross a not-so-fine line when your subject matter turns to forcing sexual contact onto people you don’t even know. During Trump’s crotch-grabbing comments, Billy Bush can be heard sniggering. Many would argue that silence is consent and that his behavior later in the clip reinforces Trump’s statements.
It’s a shame that I even feel the need to explain this.
Remember what the real issue is here. It’s not that Donald Trump said something inappropriate or that sex is somehow shameful; these are both common occurrences that most adults have experienced and understand.
The issue is that someone who may be elected president was advocating sexual assault. Regardless of the time and context, regardless of all the other hateful things he’s said, how can we elect someone who would (in the right scenario) objectify slightly over half of the U.S. population?
Trump said in his apology video, “We all live in the real world.” It’s true. The real world guys who excessively put down women are not the type I tend to associate with. They’re certainly not the type I want handling the complexities of geopolitics or leading the free world.
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve probably heard people say worse in my life. It’s a sad fact that there are some not-so-great people in the world that spew obscenities in all directions. But this certainly hasn’t been typical of the locker rooms or groups of friends that I’ve been in. And I went to public school (I even rode the freaking bus).
It’s also hard to accept Trump’s apology at face value. I believe this is due to the fact that he seems to never regret his words. He didn’t apologize to Megyn Kelly or the disabled reporter he mocked. He has even made it a point to double down on some of the nasty things he’s said.
So how does he expect people to believe that his words “don’t reflect” his character? Isn’t his whole platform based on him “telling it like it is”? It’s more likely Donald Trump has been showing us exactly who he is this entire time, and the comments he made to Billy Bush in that bus are all we needed to hear.
Like most people, I didn’t take it seriously when I heard Donald Trump was running for president. I rolled my eyes and figured it was either a publicity stunt or a joke. Even now that he is nominated and not losing by nearly a wide enough margin, I can’t shake the feeling that this is just a joke that has gotten out of hand.
My feelings aside, I can understand Trump’s appeal. He’s a self-funded outsider who’s not afraid to speak his mind. In a world where corruption runs rampant through politics, Trump’s qualities do seem admirable. It would just be so much better if he had a better mind to draw from. I believe I speak for many when I say that I don’t want those words in my mouth.