Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ re­quires a sim­ple apol­ogy

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

Ahead of the up­com­ing elec­tion, we all need to con­sider some­thing.

No doubt you’ve heard about Don­ald Trump’s lat­est de­grad­ing com­ments about women. Some peo­ple are de­fend­ing it as “locker room talk.”

Be­cause that makes it OK, right? It’s OK if we be­lieve that men, when they’re among other men, talk about women like they are pieces of meat, truly think of them as dogs, and es­sen­tially be­lieve that in or­der to seem masculine around their fel­low chest-beat­ers that they have to speak in this man­ner.

Sure, plenty of men have said worse things. Even some guys read­ing this might be guilty.

But how many are guilty of a pro­longed stream of con­scious­ness, the type that truly goes to rep­re­sent how they must ac­tu­ally view women — as some sort of sex­ual ob­ject, a sta­tus sym­bol if ob­tained?

What’s worse, I see peo­ple ev­ery­where at­tempt to ex­plain away, and even dis­miss, what Trump said by say­ing that the Clin­tons have done far worse to women.

Bill has used, abused, raped and as­saulted women, ac­cord­ing to some re­ports, and Hil­lary stood by him and helped him cover it up. Say noth­ing of their work, Hil­lary’s specif­i­cally, to ad­vance the po­si­tion of women in this coun­try and through­out the world.

Truly, say noth­ing of it be­cause it’s not rel­e­vant here, not even to the point I’m about to make.

Com­par­ing what Trump said to what the Clin­tons have sup­pos­edly done still does not make Trump’s com­ments ac­cept­able. In fact, even bring­ing up Bill’s in­dis­cre­tions only serves to say all men are like this and un­der­mine the idea that a cul­ture of abuse and si­lence ex­ists.

More­over, bring­ing Bill into this is a way to stick it to those crit­i­ciz­ing Trump by say­ing that the Democrats’ beloved po­lit­i­cal fam­ily is no bet­ter, that they treat women the same.

Peo­ple are now gen­er­al­iz­ing the abuse of women and, through their ar­gu­ments, mak­ing the state­ment that this abuse is per­fectly OK.

The right thing to do is not to call at­ten­tion to the abuse of other women in or­der to down­play the new­est ex­am­ple.

The right thing to do is not to at­tempt to ex­cuse away the abuse at all.

The right thing to do is to call the abuse what it is — abuse — ac­knowl­edge it and move on know­ing that we need to do bet­ter. We, as a coun­try, need to do bet­ter. Buy­ing into the Trump cam­paign’s de­flect­ing strat­egy is lu­di­crous. Do not de­flect the blame from Trump by re­mind­ing the coun­try about the trans­gres­sions of Bill Clin­ton.

Re­mind the coun­try that Trump’s words are hor­ren­dously un­war­ranted and grossly inappropriate, and then force Trump to pub­licly ad­mit this and apol­o­gize pro­fusely for it the same way Hil­lary Clin­ton has been made to ad­dress her wrongs time and again.

Any apol­ogy he has is­sued is not, and never will be, a true apol­ogy un­til he can ut­ter the words “I’m sorry” with noth­ing to fol­low. Oth­er­wise he, and any­one who does on his be­half, is de­fend­ing abuse with abuse.

Bran­don Rus­sell, Leonard­town

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