This article is not about politics, nor is it an invitation to engage in the already tired debate over who is better fit to be President of the United States.
Two weeks ago, an audio recording of Republican Presidential nominee – Donald Trump – was leaked to the public. In the recording Donald suggested that he could force himself on women without any consequences because he was famous.
Trump: 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.
Billy Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the p**** (insert vulgar word for female genitalia). You can do anything.
Donald Trump apologized for these statements but later dismissed the conversation as, “locker room talk.” He denied that he had ever forced himself upon a woman.
The other day, a friend of mine went into the locker room at his local gym. He decided to eaves drop on the conversations that were happening. He told me, “A couple of guys were talking about last night’s baseball game. One guy was talking to himself while he was getting dressed. Another guy was passing a lot of gas.”
That is what normal, “locker room talk,” sounds like.
Speaking about, “grabbing a woman’s [genitals]” is speaking about sexual assault.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines criminal and tortious assault as:
The threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. The actual contact is defined as battery.
Even if you look past Donald Trump’s 30+ years of womanizing behavior, and all of the women that have come forward over the past week with claims that Trump has assaulted them and his demeaning statements and attitude toward women during his campaign… (and the list could go on), the statements that he made during this 2005 conversation are indefensible.
Donald Trump was not engaging in a, “boys will be boys,” kind of conversation. He was bragging about sexual assault and he stated he could get away with it because he is wealthy, powerful and famous.
As upsetting as these statements are, even more upsetting has been some of the reaction of his supporters. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen (on social media) or heard the following:
“Let’s talk about how bad Bill Clinton is…”
“All men talk dirty behind closed doors…”
“It was 11 years ago…”
“God called sinners throughout the Scriptures…”
“But Hillary is worse because (insert statement about abortion immoral political positions)”
If you have made any of these statements over the past week, please heed this message:
We send the wrong message to women if we attempt to defend this behavior.
I am shocked at some of my well-intentioned friends who have attempted to frame Donald Trump’s comments into a justifiable context. When I read this news story I was immediately angered and I had no interest in offering any kind of apology or argument in defense of Donald Trump’s actions. I thought that everyone would have the same reaction. Perhaps I am taking too much for granted.
For the women reading this blog, please allow me to state explicitly what I had previously believed to be obvious:
You deserve to be treated with dignity because you are a person – a person made in the image and likeness of God.
All men do not speak or act like this.
If you find yourself in a dating relationship with a man that does speak to you with demeaning or sexually aggressive language – dump him immediately and never speak to him again.
FYI – it is also not appropriate for any man to rate you on your “looks” using a 1-10 scale.
If a man attempts to kiss or grope you without your consent, take the following three steps:
- Pepper spray his face, gouge him in the eyes or do anything you can to get away from him.
- Immediately report him to the police and file charges.
Who you vote for in this election is a discussion for another time and place. Please reserve those comments for another blog thread. However, a person demeaning women and bragging about sexual assault is not something that should ever be allowed to pass without comment.