The real issue with Trump's "locker room" comments
I’ve been thinking about the Donald Trump “locker room talk” controversy pretty much non-stop since the tape was leaked. When I first heard exactly what he said last Saturday morning, I grimaced, rolled my eyes and thought no more about it until later that evening.
I watched the tape in full and so many thoughts went through my brain. Firstly, Billy Bush is not just 'guilty by association', he is guilty of placing a woman as a punchline to Trump’s disgusting comments.
Trump’s point of how his celebrity means he can do what he wants to women is vile, but true. As powerful as we are, many women would be unsure how to react to a powerful man in a circumstance like that. We’d all like to think that we would stand up for ourselves, but if you’re a woman, I ask you to think about it; because chances are you’ve been a victim one way or another. I know I have.
If anyone gives me backchat, I’m quick to bite back, but when someone uses their physical build to tower over you, what can you do? Honestly, tell me what I can do... Because it’s happened before and I’m sure it’ll happen again.
I’ve had men get too close for comfort and done nothing but squirm internally. I’ve had my physical appearance commented upon in front of large groups of people and done nothing but blush.
The men in question have not done these things because they're attracted to me, they've done it purely because they are in positions of power and they can exercise that whenever they please.
When I say ‘men’, I am referring to a small portion of men I have crossed paths with in my life. For the most part, the men in my life are brilliant. I’m very close in age to my brother, and so have always gotten on with the male species. Some of the key mentors in my life are men. Each one of them support and encourage me. They take the mick out of me, but they have never made me feel uncomfortable, uneasy or less than what I am - an equal.
I’ve read so much about Trump’s comments in the last week. I’ve watched loyal Republicans try to brush this controversy under the carpet and TV hosts make cheeky jokes. I’ve sat down to write out my frustrations at this entire saga multiple times as I’m struggling to verbalise it in conversations with friends and colleagues.
It’s taken me the guts of a week, but I’ve finally pin-pointed it. The issue I have with Trump’s comments is that he is not the only person in the world to use language like that.
There is a breed of man - not all men - who talk about women like that. They don’t do it in locker rooms. They don’t do it on mic. They do it to get a laugh from their friends or because it’s truly what they believe.
To be frank, I don’t actually care why they do it. But I know that they do do it. I have overheard conversations in restaurants and at events around the world. They think these things and talk in this way and it hurts my soul.
That’s not me being dramatic, it does. I feel sad and sore that this is even an issue.
What will it take to kill this way of thinking? Tell me, please, because I really want to know.