Wow, there is a lot to unpack this week. I am going to be talking about Donald Trump, Sexual Assault, and the leak from the weekend, so if any of that is triggering, be warned and ready before you read on.
Right, so …
So a tape leaked to the Washington Post with something Trump said just over a decade ago. To sum up, he talks first about pursuing a married woman and being turned down. He then talks about how he responds to beautiful women. In his words (all quotes lifted from Washington Post and the linked article),
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
If being kissed immediately upon meeting a man is not bad enough, well, it gets worse from there.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.
“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
So there is that statement … from a man accused of sexually assaulting and/or harassing multiple women, including an under-aged girl.
Unpacking the First Box
So if you walk right up to a woman and kiss her or grab her crotch, without asking or even waiting for a signal or cue that it is okay, she is not “letting you.” You are assaulting her. You are doing this to her without her consent. What Donald Trump describes here is sexual assault, plain and simple. It may have slightly different legal terms from state to state, but when we talk about the idea of sexual assault and rape, this is what we are talking about.
It is about the lack of consent. When you do something before asking, when you do not wait and do not look for a signal that it is okay, that is … pick your term, sexual battery, sexual assault, rape. They are all bad because they ignore a woman’s bodily autonomy and her right to give or not give consent for her body to be touched, groped, kissed, penetrated, etc.
One would think that this would be simple. The words are clear and paint a pretty vivid picture.
Oh, How We Can Be Wrong
So, immediately(ish), Trump is on the waves saying that he is not talking about sexual assault and that it was just “Locker Room Talk” and “all men” talk that way. He was “sorry” but it is not really clear what he is sorry for, since he does not actually admit what he said was wrong, at least that part of it.
While many people have spoken against it, including Republicans, most of his supporters seem to be digging in.
I am listening to the radio and a woman talks about the recording. It is not a big deal and certainly not what people make it out to be, says she. It’s like he says, “locker room talk.” It’s like saying “I’d hit that” or “I’d tap that.”
I Have Not Been in a Men’s Locker Room, but I Do Know Lots of Men
So, I have always had male friends, even when I was a child. I don’t know why, but I have always gotten along well with them. Into adulthood, some of my closest friends have been men. I eventually married one of them, Klaus.
Being around boys and men my whole life, you hear things. After a while, the boys start to treat you like you are one of the guys. This is good, but it can make you privy to some, shall we say, interesting conversations that they might not have around the girls they were trying to date.
I have heard rape jokes. Usually said jokes refer to prison, the absurdity that is rape if you think about it, or that old glory, “you can’t rape the willing.” I don’t like them. I often found them uncomfortable and while I understand that humor can help to lessen the impact of something on one’s psyche, I am not okay with rape jokes.
What none of my male friends joked about, that I can remember from the ones I call friend, is actually doing the raping or how their position would somehow make it “okay” or allow it to be excused.
I have heard things like, “I would totally tap that ass,” “I would hit that like the fist of an angry god,” and similar sentiments. Never in these statements, however, is it implied that the woman would not be willing and would not be given the chance to give or withhold consent. They speak to a level of desire and perhaps to making things a little rough.
Rough sex is not a bad thing when both parties want it.
To equate Trump’s statement to sentiments about the desire for consensual sex demeans men and women both. It turns men from people who desire sex and are willing to follow at least the most basic rules to get it – ask first – into slobbering animals whose only instinct is to mate. It turns women into something less than even an object. She becomes just something to take and use, regardless of her own feelings on the matter.
That Trump has allegedly acted out what his statement so vividly implies only makes it worse.
Speaking of Rough Sex
I have the right to rough sex if I want it.
I have the right to write about rough sex, sexy sex, BDSM sex, wild and kinky sex, and whatever other kind of sex I want.
I have the right to read it too.
I have the right to want to have sex with any man or woman I want. Hopefully they want me back, but that does not affect the want, only the doing. I can want a man who is sweet and gentle and kind. I can want a man who is a rebel. I can want a man who is a total douche canoe if that does it for me.
While I personally would never do so and think no one ever should, I can … I can .. I …
I can’t actually type it out. That is okay, though.
All of these things I can do, other women can do them to. In addition, if they want (though I personally advise against it) they can even read Fifty Shades of Grey. It is a deplorable book with awful prose that should have been fixed by an editor but … any woman who still wants to read it can.
And for those sharing that awful, awful meme as though it were a pearl of wisdom – you are swine. Our fantasies, our reading and writing, and our consensual sexual activities gives no one, and I mean no one, a right to our bodies without out consent.