By now, almost everyone has heard about the 2005 tapes that were released in which Donald Trump talked about women in a raunchy manner. He has since released an apology statement saying that “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. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Billy Bush, the man of which Trump was talking to in these tapes, has since been suspended indefinitely from his role at The Today Show. Since these tapes have come out, it seems as though every news source or news anchor has voiced their opinion on Trump’s words. Many came to his defense, saying that this is just “boys being boys” and it was purely “locker room talk”. The release of these tapes has led to many GOP members to pull their support for Trump, including the GOP’s head honcho, Paul Ryan. But what do these tapes really reveal?
Besides the obvious revelations of Trump’s words, the release of these tapes has shown how many in America continue to perpetuate and defend his words and actions, which mirror that of the rape culture that is present in America today. Many women have jumped to defend Trump stating that, “they’ve heard guys say worse”, as if that’s OK. This reasoning has also come from conservative Tomi Lahren, who has previously attacked the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards for being “too black”. Trump supporters have also voiced how this was “locker room talk”. To this, many professional sports athletes have came out and said that no, this is not locker room talk, this is offensive ways of dehumanizing and objectifying women. Lebron James is one of these athletes, claiming that “it’s not locker room talk, it’s trash talk”.
And the GOP members that did pull their support of Donald Trump’s campaign? Many used their relation to women as a way to justify their anger over his words; “As a father of two girls…”, “As a man with three beautiful granddaughters…”, etc. While it was great that they pulled their support and did not allow for these words to go without consequence, the ways that they justified their anger were outdated and unnecessary. You don’t have to be a father of two girls or a grandfather of girls to be outraged by his statements.
It’s these ways of justifying his words that led to the belief that Brock Turner was unfairly jailed for just “20 minutes of action in his 20 year life”. It’s these justification methods that are why 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape or sexual assault. It’s because of these excuses that women are asked “why were you drinking so much”, as if it’s their own fault that they were sexually assaulted.
These tapes were lewd and gross, don’t get me wrong, but the justification of them were even worse. It’s the excuses that people used that revealed how prevalent rape culture continues to be in today’s society.