Listening to Trump's tape made me sick to the my stomach, hearing his half-hearted apology added fuel to the fire. It reminds me of Dan Turner, father of Stanford rapist Brock Turner who had the same dismissive attitude, calling his son's rape "20 mins of action"and worries about how Brock was missing out on steak due to his bad appetite.
The below in red is from The Washington Post who broke the news.
“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.”
Trump's insincere apology is below in red.
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,” Trump said in a statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Billy Bush, in a statement released by NBC Universal, said: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
The similarities between the 2 men cannot be denied. Both of them shifted blame conveniently. Dan Turner did that by insinuating that the victim put herself in this situation by drinking and being sexually promiscuous. He mentioned that Brock is “totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity”. This same stance was also taken by Brock himself. Trump did the same thing by putting it down as "locker-room banter" and "Bill Clinton has said far worse".
He continued to say this words "don't reflect" who he is, way to go for taking responsibility. He continued with, "we are living in the real world". Yes, Mr. Trump, we are indeed living in the real world and you are a perfect example of the daily disrespect that women have to go through. This same disrespect that fuels domestic violence and rape culture.
As a domestic abuse survivor, I am living testament that degrading language often escalates into violence. On top of the pain of being physically injured, is the emotional pain. The emotional pain of having your dignity and worth taken away. Leaving the victim struggling to combat the perpetual self-doubt that shadows a broken spirit.
More worrying is the insidious erosion of someone's conscious by these dailyexamples. A mass extinction of human dignity, saying if it's OK for him, it's OK for me.
As Brock learned from his father that a woman is for the taking. How many other sons are listening to this "locker-room banter", nodding in agreement, learning no is yes and more is never enough? How many men are sweeping this aside as men just being men when it is taken as silent endorsement? How many women are listening to men use this language and putting it down to boys will be boys?
Imagine if Dan Turner was a better role model, Brock's future wouldn't be ruined, a girl wouldn't be raped. He could have stopped it, he didn't. Imagine if the victim is your daughter, your mother, your sister, is it OK?
I really believe humanity is better than that. Both women and men are better than that. WE are better than this. We need to start showing up when someone uses abusive language that diminishes someone, anyone. We need to start saying, it's not OK, it's really not, there is a better way of doing this.
We will stand strong and stand alone if we need too. Stand tall and stand proud in the truths. Our principles are not made to bend to peer pressure, willy nilly. WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS. Or risk our daughters being raped, our mothers being beaten, our fathers sent to jail, our brothers turning violent.
You can find The Washington Post Trump video and Trump's apology here.
Image courtesy of John Cole Cartoons