Calling Trump's comments 'locker room talk' is dangerous

Women are familiar with rape culture. While men have attempted to ‘manpslain’ why Trump’s comments are of no concern, let a woman explain to you why it is dangerous.

Over the last several months, a number of rapists received light sentences with little jail time. The courts glossed over the victim’s suffering and decided not to make the perpetrator suffer. This is an evolution of rape culture. Men are not being held accountable for their actions, and this sends a clear message to women: We don’t matter.

What men are saying is that our bodies are not our own, and it is expected that men would be unable to control themselves in the presence of a woman. Men laugh and joke at the expense of women, and the bottom line is that women are seen as objects. Should women fear for their safety every waking moment because men don’t expect other men to control themselves around women? If you approve of Trump’s comments explaining how he sexually assaults women on a whim, then you are condoning unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault. You are encouraging rape culture.

Women worry about rape and sexual assault. We worry about it often, and you are making light of a big problem in America. Let me enlighten you:

Men do not worry about what time of day they leave home. They don’t fear being grabbed by someone in the shadows and raped in a dark alley.

Men do not fear strangers while on vacation. They don’t worry about predators seeking women to kidnap and sell into the sex slave trade.

Men do not worry about how a jury would look at their attire. Women worry if they are raped a prosecutor will try to use their clothing as justification for rape. We are all too familiar with the ‘she was asking for it’ defense.

Men do not worry about their drinks while they are in a public place. They don’t fear being drugged and raped while they are hanging out with friends.

Men do not worry about people in the office. They don’t fear being backed into a corner and groped by a man who feels his position in the company entitles him to take what he wants.

Men do not worry about being alone in public. They don’t feel like they need to travel in groups to stay safe, and they don’t worry about being separated from the crowd.

Men do not worry when they are alone in a public elevator and the doors open on the next floor to reveal a man or a group of men coming in the elevator. They don’t worry about being trapped in small spaces where they may be attacked.

Men do not fear the glance of a stranger. If a man looks a bit too long, a woman worries if his stare is cause for concern.

Men do not worry about opening the door for a repairman or delivery man. They don’t worry that the person on the other side of the door is actually a predator pretending to be someone else to gain entry.

Why do women have so many worries? One out of every six women has been the victim of a sexual assault or rape. One in six. When women press charges, defense lawyers treat the victims like criminals. They are called whores, said to be ‘asking for it’ or ‘leading them on,’ and accused of wanting it and enjoying it. Men who are found guilty are receiving lighter sentences, and the crime of rape is further trivialized.

Why is this happening? It is because men, and some women, think comments like Trump’s are normal male behavior. It is because society has fallen into the trap of ‘boys will be boys.’ Accepting these comments as ‘locker room talk’ says that you find it acceptable for men to discuss how they can just take what they want because of their status. It says that men aren’t to blame because they can’t control themselves. It labels women as objects and property.

Women, if you allow the men in your life to speak in this manner without correcting the behavior, you are creating a hostile environment for women. You are creating the future Brock Turners if you allow your sons to think this is normal. You are subconsciously saying that women are to blame if they are sexually assaulted or raped. Stand up and know your worth. You are not a piece of meat placed here for a man’s enjoyment. You are a person, you have value, and you deserve to live without fear.

Men, if you allow the young men in your life to hear you speak in this manner or you do not state that this type of talk isn’t acceptable, you are guilty of teaching a generation of young men that it is okay to objectify and sexually assault women. You are molding the future Brock Turners if you allow your sons to think this is normal. You are blaming women for sexual assault and rape by promoting the idea that men can’t be expected to control themselves.

Trump bragging that he does whatever he wants to women because of his status is bragging about sexual assault. It normalizes sexual assault and rape, and it should never be considered acceptable or normal.

I loathe using such analogies as what I am about to use, because it is demeaning to women and implies we are second-class citizens. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way some men can understand. If Trump suddenly started kissing your wife or daughter because he was aroused by them, would you still think it was okay? This is what he bragged about doing - without consent. If he suddenly grabbed your wife or daughter by the p*ssy because he is a celebrity and he thinks he has that right, would you still condone it? That’s exactly what he said he could do, and that is exactly what you are condoning.

This is dangerous. Stop teaching our young men that this is how they are supposed to act. Stop teaching them that society accepts this type of behavior. Just stop.

Amy Pilkington was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. In fact, the rural town is so small that cows outnumber people. She still lives in that same little county, but she wants to be a beach bum when she grows up. Pilkington is married to a great guy and has four wonderful children, two spoiled dogs, and a beautiful granddaughter. This introverted writer has a broad range of interests and a tendency to bore quickly, which explains her varied works in multiple genres. Regardless, her works tend to delight readers and keep them coming back for more. Her series devoted to the pinup girls of World War II continues to draw in new fans thirsty for a glimpse into the lives of the starlets who lit up the silver screen during the war. She intends to continue feeding her fans a wide array of reading material.
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