Trump’s latest sexist comments are nothing new, and the response to them has not been, either. On Friday, The Washington Post released footage of Donald Trump bragging about the license his fame gives him to assault women and a deluge of responses from high-profile politicians and celebrities sprung forward– ‘I cannot support Trump’s comments because I have a daughter/wife/sister/mother/etc.’ This isn’t the first time that Trump has objectified women, nor is it the first time there have been allegations of assault against him. But not only do we need to accept the fact that Trump is sexist, we need to change the rhetoric of ‘protecting’ women from Trump. His ‘locker-room’ comments are not new phenomena in his political campaign– people need to stop acting like they are just realizing Trump is a violent person, and jumping to the aid of their closest female relative.
John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Condoleezza Rice, and many more Republicans publicly announced they were withdrawing their support over the weekend, but where were these announcements when it was revealed Trump had been accused of raping his ex-wife, or raping a 13-year-old girl? Why were we not protecting our sisters and daughters then? Why were we not vilifying him as a country when he allowed Howard Stern to refer to his daughter as a “piece of ass?” Or when he said “what did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together,” regarding rape in the military? What about the countless times female employees of Trump have come forward, claiming harassment and unwanted attention?
Trump’s comments in the recently released conversation with Billy Bush are despicable, yes, but no one should claim they are shocking. We can add these statements to a practically endless list of awful, violent things Trump has said, but do not act like they are the sole reason you fear for the women you love. We should not condemn Trump for his vicious statements simply because we love certain women, but because women are humans and no human should be treated the way Trump treats the women he encounters. Women are not scared of Donald Trump, we are scared of the attitude he perpetuates. What he claims is ‘locker-room’ banter is not just talk– it is part of the set of behaviours he and many other men take part in.
It is one month until the election. Republicans cannot wash their hands of Trump now because he went ‘too far’ in statements recorded over a decade ago. Trump said myriad reprehensible comments regarding women, immigrants, the disabled, and other marginalized groups before anyone even knew about this video. If you accepted Trump as your candidate before the video was released on Friday, you have to accept him now. Nothing has changed– no line Trump hadn’t already catapulted himself over was crossed this weekend. Can we please stop acting like we are shocked that Trump is sexist and dangerous?