This November, voters will elect either the first female president, or a man who has admitted that he judges women based on the way they look and who’s bragged about using his celebrity status to do whatever he wants to women ― including physically assault them.
On Friday, The Washington Post published a recording from 2005 of Donald Trump, now the Republican nominee for president, using vulgar language to talk about trying to grope women and assessing them as if they’re nothing more than sex objects. Trump turned 59 in 2005. At the time he made these comments, he’d recently married his third and current wife, Melania. Portions of those remarks appear uncensored below.
“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says in the recording, which was captured on a hot mic aboard the bus of “Access Hollywood.” “You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
At another point, he talks about how he’d “moved on” a married woman and tried to “fuck her,” but failed.
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump said. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Comments like these from a presidential candidate would be shocking in any cycle. In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney was criticized for bragging that he’d had “binders full of women” when looking to increase the gender diversity in his cabinet as Massachusetts governor. That statement, of course, pales in comparison to what Trump has said.
Trump and his views toward women are especially jarring at a time when the country is on the brink of finally electing its first female president. Some of what he has said and done:
- He has said that “a person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”
- He has called a cable news host a “bimbo” who had “blood coming out of her wherever.”
- Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, once used the word “rape” to describe an incident between the two of them in 1989. She also said she felt “violated” by the encounter.
- A model who was a contestant in a pin-up competition known as American Dream Calendar Girls said that one night in 1993, she found Trump in her bed. “You said you don’t sleep with men on the first date,” he told her, according a lawsuit. “Now it’s the second date, and here I am.” The woman was 24 years younger than Trump.
- He has shamed a former Miss Universe contestant for gaining weight, referring to her as “Miss Piggy.”
- Last week, BuzzFeed uncovered a Playboy soft-core porn video that Trump appeared in (fully clothed).
Many women who have worked with Trump in the past have also said that he frequently made inappropriate comments and unwelcome physical advances.
Trump did not offer a real apology for his remarks Friday, instead using the opportunity to go after former President Bill Clinton.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course ― not even close,” he said in a statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Trump has also done his best to put the blame for Clinton’s infidelities on his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is now the Democratic presidential nominee. Trump has called Clinton an “enabler” of her husband’s affairs.
“It’s only retribution for what she said. She is playing the woman’s card to the hilt,” Trump said in May.
Clinton does occasionally acknowledge that yes, she is a woman, and that yes, her election would make history and build upon centuries’ worth of hard-won progress by female pioneers.
A good many Americans appear ready to take that leap. But a lot of others seem ready to side with a man who doesn’t think a woman is worth anything if she doesn’t have a hot body.