By Nia Harris
Just one month before the election, a video recording of Donald Trump and a Today Show correspondent leaked. The entire country braced themselves for what could possibly be on the tape, but it is safe to say that nobody was prepared for what he said. Trump made several comments about how he accosts women without asking and even condoned grabbing women by their genitals.
Naturally, many people are outraged. However, instead of issuing a genuine apology, Trump stated that his comments were simply “locker room talk” and that he was not serious. Many people would like to use the argument that actions speak louder than words, and Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for the things she did as Secretary of State while Donald Trump should not be held responsible for the things that he says.
While I do believe that everyone should be responsible for what they do, we cannot ignore the words that come out of candidates’ mouths. Many men, and some women, can defend Donald Trump if they want to, but there are two major issues with what he said.
- “Locker Room talk” has never been okay.
We all know that casual and often inappropriate talk about women has existed for thousands of years. Women have often been considered property, and it was not until the mid-20th century that that began to change. Unfortunately, this talk persisted, and it should not have. Just because women never complained about this degrading language does not mean that it was ever okay. For years women have had to listen to men disrespect them openly and act as if nothing was wrong with it. To think that after all of our accomplishments in the last century, we have been reduced to lewd comments is hurtful.
Not only is it hurtful, it is incredibly insulting.
At no point in history has a women ever wanted to be grabbed by a strange man who then laughs about it. I can assure you that women have much more self-respect than that. Donald Trump’s dismissal of his comments not only show that he is fine with his behavior, but it also leads other men to believe that similar behavior is also okay, making women feel even less safe in their environment. I can say as a young woman on a college campus, the fear of sexual assault is very real at every party, on every walk back to your dorm and everywhere else. It is a mild fear, but it never truly leaves you. However, it is men like Donald Trump that women fear.
- He is running for President
It is one thing when a man makes these types of comments and has no impact on the daily lives of other people. That man, for the most part, is harmless. This is not the case for Donald Trump. Donald Trump has decided that he wants to be the leader of the United States of America, and he wants to right all of the wrongs done in recent years. While that is a nice thought, the President is a representative of the values and beliefs of Americans. Donald Trump’s views on women are not representative of all Americans by any means. This type of language is something that should never be used by a Presidential nominee under any circumstances.
It is true that everyone has the right to feel however they want about the Presidential election or politics in general, but there is one thing that is universal: sexual assault is never okay, and making light of sexual assault is never okay. Regardless of political beliefs or ideologies, locker room talk should never be applauded or ignored. Ever.