On Tuesday, Eric Trump echoed the GOP nominee’s non-apology, telling the Colorado Gazette that when his father advocated grabbing women by their pussies, it was merely “locker room banter.” He then went one step further, implying that casual discussions of sexual violence against women simply come up when “alpha personalities are in the same presence.”
I think it’s locker room banter,” the younger Trump said. “I think sometimes when guys are together they get carried away, and sometimes that’s what happens when alpha personalities are in the same presence. At the same time, I’m not saying it’s right. It’s not the person that he is.”
The Trump camp’s party line has been to shrug off the outcry over Donald Trump’s comments, and suggest that this is simply the way men speak. If these comments are normal, then what’s the big deal? The outrage is just a distraction from the “real” issues.
Scott Baio told women to “grow up” if Trump’s comments offended them. Trump himself said “this was locker room talk,” in Sunday night’s presidential debate. Rudy Giuliani told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “men at times talk like that.” Each of these comments, along with Eric Trump’s response, serve to not just minimize the situation ― but to normalize and excuse it.
Not only is this line of thinking insulting to men and boys ― see all the pro athletes who have made it very clear that casual bragging about sexual assault is not indicative of the every day locker room that they’re accustomed to or OK with ― but it ignores the impact that Trump’s words have had on women.
Bragging about sexual assault is not OK ― not in locker rooms, not between self-described “alpha males,” not ever. Brushing off such conversations as “boys being boys” is a perpetuation, and ultimately acceptance, of toxic masculinity. American women ― and men ― deserve better than that.