There’s always a first time for everything, but I never thought I would ever find myself agreeing with Donald Trump. And yet, here I was reading his statement after The Washington Post released a recording of a “lewd conversation.”

The “lewd conversation” was reportedly caught on a hot microphone while Trump was filming in 2005. The presidential nominee can be heard bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. At one point he talks about how his apparent fame makes it so much easier to “do anything he wants” with women.

Donald Trump and Billy Bush meet actress Arianne Zucker in a video that includes some nasty (but sadly, way too common) "banter."
Donald Trump and Billy Bush meet actress Arianne Zucker in a video that includes some nasty (but sadly, way too common) “banter.”

In response Trump issued a statement that says: “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.”

I agree with every bit of that statement. For once Trump is being honest about what he said and why he said it. He’s telling it as it is. He’s telling the world what women have known all their lives and continue to live with — the fact that boys will be boys, that they will say things that are “crude” and may be “offensive,” but please don’t “get you panties in a twist” because this is just locker room banter. Please don’t talk about rape culture, don’t mention how casual jokes about grabbing, groping, scoring, and dumping women makes light of abuse or enables it. Please don’t get all emotional and don’t be a “feminazi.”

There’s of course been a massive reaction to the “leaked” tape. Social media will have you believe that the world is full of rational men who are appalled by the very fact that a man could speak about another woman like that. How could he? But read closer and you’d see that the outrage and schooling on rape culture focuses on the fact that this man is a presidential candidate, as it should. This man is running for president and he feels comfortable in belittling women publicly and in intimate conversations. This man is not fit to run a country or be a leader. Yet, this disgusting, misogynist, bigoted, racist and fascist man is every bit the same in his “banter” as many other young men now reacting in disgust.

So while this leaked tape has opened up a conversation about Trump’s apparent knack for disrespecting women, how about we take a step forward and talk about how for once Trump represents you, or your friend or your friends’ friend. Because honestly, if you are a man and haven’t heard or been a part of similar banter I would like to meet you, study your life, and be in awe of you forever.

Hating on Trump (which he makes extremely easy to do) is a cowardly knee-jerk reaction. It takes away from the fact that rape culture exists and it’s thriving. That we don’t question it enough — and those that do end up facing more abuse. That more than half the world’s population is forced to live with the fact that the other half may say abusive, derogatory and rape-y things about you — but please stop over reacting and lighten up.  Oh, and while you are at it please smile more often.

For instance, Trump’s “lewd” remarks are considered outrageous — but there’s not nearly as much outrage about Billy Bush, who consistently partakes in the conversation and eggs him on. No, I am not saying that Bush should be held to the same standards as a presidential candidate. I am saying that rape culture should be shunned regardless of one’s political stature, that we should question whether it is more convenient to talk about rape culture and abuse when it’s coming from someone whose politics you do not agree with. That the personal is political doesn’t work at your own convenience.

For now, I am reading in awe as men one after the other, talk about how bad rape culture is and how Trump’s remarks are “so not presidential” and hoping that maybe by some stroke of luck some of them could get a quick flashback to last nights “banter.” But I am not holding my breath just yet.

  • Greg

    You know… the hawks are hell bent on overthrowing yet another secular government in the Middle East, even if it means risking nuclear war with Russia. Hillary Clinton is a major cheerleader for this unbelievably reckless, brainless, maniacally insane policy. But all the vapid media wants to talk about is Trump’s latest foul-mouthed outrage. Sure, Hillary may incinerate us all in a mushroom cloud, but hey, at least she’s not part of the rape culture!

    • Turk B.

      …yeah …both “major parties shove distasteful …horrible candidates our way…because…..they can…..what a shock.

  • playland

    >-Yet, this disgusting, misogynist, bigoted, racist and fascist man is every bit the same in his “banter” as many other young men now reacting in disgust.’

    Thanks. Perhaps you might be willing to share your assessment of ‘many’ LGBTQ or Mexican people next.

    #bigot

  • MNJAM

    I once asked a close male friend/training partner from the gym what exactly is it that men talk about in the locker room? Is it crude and vulgar? He shrugged and said “no we mostly grunt at each other and get in an out as fast as possible”

    I reject the idea that the type of talk Trump engaged in is typical for American men, or men of any culture. The reason it is so horrifying to people is that most “normal”, ie reasonably psychologically healthy 59 year old married men wouldn’t talk like that., It is pathological, and shows that he has serious problems with women.

    You will hear a lot of crude,vulgar and sexually explicit material if you watch a lot of tv, movies and explore the internet. That is a byproduct of a society with no government censorship of the media.

    I seriously doubt Hillary Clinton would start another war in the Middle East. She listens to the military brass and advisors, all of whom have stated that another ground invasion of a Middle East country by the United states would be akin to insanity.Many of these people , including General Petraeus and Bob Gates, the former Marine and secretary of defense are friends and colleagues of hers. Besides, we haven’t even completely finished the previous actions in the Middle east, and the US does not have unlimited military capacity.

    • playland

      I will tell you the nature of this ‘guy talk’.

      Locker room is a misnomer. It mostly occurs in any car ride of more than 15 minutes when there are only guys in the car who are familiar with the same group of women (friends, co workers…).

      We’ll go woman by woman and go into specifics about attributes that we find attractive and those we don’t. We’ll go into detail about how how we would envision a sexual session with her unfolding. We’ll compare woman A to woman B and we will be brutally harsh on any woman that we find unattractive.

      But I have never been in one of these sessions where anyone spoke about assaulting a woman or proceeding against her wishes.

      I’ve also been out with women, perhaps at an outdoor concert or at the beach, and if an attractive guy has his shirt off they are every bit as eager to analyze his attractiveness as hetero guys would be of a woman.

      • MNJAM

        That was not my comment — don’t know why it was under my name.

        Speaking for myself: male “locker room talk” in my experience is the output of a handful of insecure 12, 13 and 14 year olds. While not confined to “lockerroom,” it often occurs there (speaking of 12, 13, 14 year olds).. I have rarely heard it from adult men, whether friends, co-workers, some guys in a bar, gym, club etc. Commenting on that woman X is very attractive does not count IMO.

        Women have their analogue. I’ve heard far more of it — i.e. women in groups are far more likely to talk about and critique male attractiveness (physical or otherwise), sexual prowess etc than men in groups are to talk about women in comparable terms.

    • Greg

      As a man, I can tell you this kind of talk is foreign to me personally. I’ve known these kinds of a-holes in high school and college, and I steered as clear as possible from them.

      However, I disagree with your assessment of Hillary Clinton. It’s not even a matter of disagreeing -just look at what she’s already done. She was one of the architects of the overthrow of the government and the destruction of Libya. She’s responsible for literally thousands of deaths there, and she laughed about it like a psychopath on 60 Minutes. What kind of a person does that?

      She wanted to set up a no-fly zone in Syria, and still does. Obama stopped her the first time. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of US military capability, but Hillary Clinton clearly does not. There’s a certain segment of war hawks who firmly believe that we both can and should retain hegemony over the rest of the world, and Hillary has proven time and time again that she stands squarely with those people.

      Trump’s talk is idiotic and repugnant. But talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words, and Hillary’s actions scare the shit out of me.

      • Porfirio666

        Therefore, JILL STEIN?

        See Ralph Nader, 2000. That’s how we ended up in Iraq.

        • Greg

          In this case, Hillary Clinton is actually the more dangerous warmonger. Trump is actually more sane on the subject of war/Syria/NATO expansion/etc. OTOH, there are many other aspects that make him unacceptable. So yes, absolutely, proudly, JILL STEIN. She’s the only acceptable candidate.

          That’s from a moral perspective. From a practical perspective, look at it this way. No two elections are alike. This one is exceptional, in that we have never had an election where both candidates are so reviled, and for good reason. Either one of these would lose badly to any generic candidate of the other party. And that is exactly what will happen when one of them faces re-election.

          If the winner is Hillary (which it will be), then brace yourself for 8 years of terrible Republican rule starting in 2020 (provided the war she will undoubtedly start, doesn’t go nuclear). If the winner is Trump, expect the reverse. With the added benefit that maybe the Democrats will finally learn not to ignore their base. Hopefully they’ll at least learn to never, EVER nominate someone as despicable as Hillary Clinton ever again.

          • MKR

            Maybe the best part of this election is that it represents the last of the Baby boomers running for president. In my opinion, the generation born following WW2 have been poor political and business leaders, with a few exceptions. Hillary and Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Donald Trump are all exactly the same age and suffer from the same underlying disorder of Baby Boomer Narcissism. It just expresses itself differently.

          • Karl Young

            As a Boomer I’m happy to go along with your assessment and disavow my moronic generation, though I suspect that you may be being a bit optimistic re. following generations.

          • Porfirio666

            Greg, I meant to ask. Are you still a proud Chavista? Tienen los yanquis putistas responsibilidad por la pobreza alla en Venezuela?

        • Karl Young

          That’s such a simplistic canard that’s been repeated into fact.

          Firstly a vote for Jill Stein in California is a meaningless protest vote (and if the Greens weren’t so useless I might even engage in it), though any smidgen of hope I have in the US sliding rather than accelerating into the cesspool requires Trump to be crushed in the election so I will reluctantly vote for the mainstream conservative.

          But re. the canard, the fact that Bush got more Democratic votes in Florida than Nader’s total vote count in Florida tells me that it wasn’t only Nader that led to the 2000 selection.

          • Porfirio666

            It’s not a canard at all. Have a look at Nate Silver’s website.

      • MKR

        Gaddafi died as a result of a rebellion in Libya in the midst of the Libyan civil war. This was part of the so-called “Arab Spring” which was supposed to be new uprisings in the Middle East and a new generation of leaders taking over. This was not started by Hillary Clinton and it is unlikely that she could have done anything to stop it. The Libyans decided that they had enough of Gaddafi, just like the Egyptians had enough of Hosni Mubarak.

        The concept that the United States has any impact or effect on politics and social structure in the Middle East may be fallacious. With the exception of the period of Persian Empire, the Middle east has been in turmoil for thousands of years, even further back than when the Egyptian slaves escaped and made their way Eastern toward Damascus, Syria. The Arabs have been blaming the world’s problems on the Jews every since. The more things change the more they stay the same.

        • Greg

          To say that the Middle East is just in turmoil, and the US has nothing to do with it, is both simplistic and wrong.

          “The Libyans” didn’t “decide” anything. There were protests by certain Libyans, that much is true. Some Libyans supported the protests, because they were tired of living in a country with little political freedom. Some opposed them, because Gaddafi managed to create a country that was safe, stable, free of violence, and had the highest standard of living in all of Africa. How many were on each side is impossible to tell.

          When the protesters decided to raid military warehouses and take up arms, Gaddafi cracked down pretty hard.

          City after city that had rebelled against his rule began to fall back into government hands, and it was pretty clear that his forces were weeks or even days away from taking Benghazi, the rebellion’s stronghold.

          At that point, hawks in NATO and the Pentagon saw an opportunity to eliminate one of the few remaining secular nationalist governments in the Arab world -one whose foreign policy was decidedly independent of the United States/NATO orbit.

          Within the US government, there were heated discussions about whether to overthrow Gaddafi. And this is where NATO policy really gets decided, as NATO is pretty much a vehicle for the United States to control its client states. Obama and Biden were reportedly skeptical of the idea, but SOS Hillary Clinton was one of the chief proponents. She pushed very hard, and eventually convinced Obama to do it.

          Within days of the start of the bombing campaign, the civil war turned dramatically. City after city that had fallen to government forces in the days prior, fell back into rebel hands, and the rebels advanced. Jihadists from all over the world flocked to join the battle in Libya against a hated (to them) secular leader who had kept a lid on radical Islam in his country for 42 years. The US and its allies acted as their air force.

          The result has been an unmitigated disaster. Thousands dead. Thousands more sickened, maimed, raped. Infrastructure destroyed. Warlords still fighting over the wreckage. ISIS now firmly entrenched in the country.

          And Hillary Clinton played a major role in it. I can’t say it’s ALL her fault. But she’s certainly one of the first people who should be sitting in The Hague on war crimes charges… if there was any justice in this world.

          • MNJAM

            4000 year old hieroglyphic inscriptions about Libya read like recent headlines. Nothing has changed and it’s not going to change any time soon.

            The notion that the US can change Libya (or Syra or Egypt or Iraq) for better or worse is foolish. Every US “intervention” in the so-called “middle east” – Iranian coup, marines in Beirut, Iraq invasion, Libyan intervention — has backfired i some way.

            BTW, the US policy in Libya was “leading from behind:” putting our air force behind the Anglo-French-German policy of overthrowing Gaddafi. Blame Merkel et al.
            .

          • Greg

            No, the notion that US actions have no consequences is foolish. If the US had not intervened, Gaddaffi would still be in power, and that would be better. Thousands of lives saved, no destruction of the country, warlords would not be fighting over scraps of wreckage, no ISIS in Libya. In fact, in the sentence directly after, you actually acknowledge that and contradict yourself. Of course every intervention has backfired! So why do we keep meddling? Why is Hillary Clinton’s judgement so spectacularly bad that she keeps pushing for intervention when she can plainly see that every intervention has backfired? Is she just a psychopath, as her laughter on 60 Minutes suggests?

            And yes, Merkel and Sarkozy deserve to be at The Hague with her. I don’t dispute that. But let’s not kid ourselves. Lead from the front or lead from behind, if the US refused to go along, NATO would not have done squat. NATO doesn’t fart without US permission.

          • MNJAM

            The term “no consequences” is yours, not mine. I said “every intervention” has “backfired.”

          • Greg

            You said the notion that the US can change Libya is foolish. “Can’t change” is pretty much synonymous with “no consequences.” Semantics aside, I would argue that turning the country into an ISIS playground, where there was no ISIS before… destroying the infrastructure with bombing when the country had the best infrastructure in Africa… overthrowing a stable government that was clearly on its way to containing the rebellion and would have likely continued… killing many people who would have been alive… I would argue that those are consequences, or “changes” if you prefer.

          • MNJAM

            Hillary Clinton and you share the same delusion: that Gaddafi was an autocrat in control of a “stable state.”There has never been a state or kingdom of Libya in any meaningful sense.

            Eastern Libya has always been violent and an exporter of violence. The Pharaohs wrote about it. It was a “hotbed” of Al Qaeda” before becoming a “hotbed” of ISIS. It’s just a name change.

            Gaddafi was a warlord who “ruled” over a fractious, tribal society by using his tribal militia or dispensing petro-baksheesh.

            Clinton and her European peers believed Gaddafi’s overthrow would permit a western-educated, democratizing elite to take over this “state.” Result: the near anarchy of Gaddafi’s Libya is now anarchy.

            In 2011, Gaddafi was bound to die or be overthrown, sooner rather than later. What would have resulted (absent western intervention)? Anything different? Probably not.

            It’s the same story over and over again. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and so on.

          • Greg

            That’s pure speculation. Maybe he would have been overthrown, maybe Libya would’ve degenerated into violence. Maybe not. All we know is that it was in fact stable then, and it is now a cesspool of violence and extremism.

          • MKR

            How do you know Hillary Clinton pushed hard? Were you talking to her about it?

          • Greg

            Well, that’s what all the media accounts have said. She was well-known as the Obama administration’s chief hawk.

          • MKR

            I don’t think that Hillary Clinton would provoke or exacerbate any social unrest in the Middle East or start any additional US intervention in the area. I understand that you dislike her – many people do. However, the person who described this years election the best way in my opinion is Michael Bloomberg, who personally knows both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for decades. He said she’s not perfect and they don’t agree on everything but at least she would be a sane, competent leader. I think Donald Trump has demonstrated that he is irrational and emotionally unstable.
            I don’t think it is beneficial to the country to have one party in charge of all of the branches of government. I think we should have some balance. I wouldn’t necessarily want a Supreme Court with 100% liberal Democrats I certainly would not want one with 100% Republicans.
            In my opinion the Republicans have to acknowledge what is wrong with their party before they can fix it and they seem incapable of doing that. The Reagan-Bush doctrines simply don’t work, and need to be rejected. We have had some progressive Republican presidents in history but modern Republicans seem to have forgotten about them in their idolization of Reagan. Eisenhower started NASA – you can’t get much more progressive than that. And Nixon started the EPA. Before the EPA the air pollution in American cities was almost as bad as it is now in Bejing.
            If you don’t like Hillary Clinton don’t vote for her. If you can do a better job go run for President yourself.

          • Greg

            Again, I’m just judging her on her actions and what she has supported in the past. Just yesterday, she again called for implementing her catastrophic idea of a no-fly zone. On KPFA today, Jill Stein correctly said that that means war with Russia. It’s madness. Even the current administration understands it’s madness. Unfortunately, there are hawks like Clinton, John Kerry, and much of the Pentagon establishment, who are chomping at the bit. Kerry recently told the rebels that unfortunately he lost the argument for use of force. Thank goodness for that! I can only hope that the legitimate government of Syria retakes Aleppo from the hands of the US-allied jihadi terrorists and checkmates this insane plan before Obama gets out of office.

  • Jim

    A lot of “locker room” talk are tall tales meant to elicit awe and respect for the speaker’s machismo, nothing more. Guys who don’t participate in this banter end up being bullied or pansied. The spoils of war has historically included all the women that you could fuck, which is why over 10% of the world’s population is related to Genghis Khan (an alpha male).

  • The thing about these Trump supporters that justify his obscene comments by saying that’s how people talk in locker rooms is that they’re wrong. That’s how ass holes talk in locker rooms. And if you think everyone is like that you just trying to justify the fact that you’re an ass hole also. Good people don’t talk like that and they know it. We need a good person as president not an ass hole. https://goo.gl/RSv95s

  • MKR

    Rape is an act of violence not sex and in my opinion in this culture it is more of a byproduct of the love affair with guns and glorification of violence which is deeply ingrained into American life and culture.

    Of course men talk about women and vice versa. No one is shocked or offended if done young man says something like “she is really hot ” or “I’d love to have some type of sex with her” that is not what Trump’s comments were . He was bragging of sexual conquests in derogatory manners.

    • MNJAM

      Excellent comment. I wish I could meet someone like you.

  • Karl Young

    Well, yeah; I’ve heard plenty of crap like that (and didn’t vociferously object, which I agree, doesn’t give me many bragging rights) from stupid, arrogant (usually in tandem ala the Dunning-Krueger effect), entitled jerks in the locker room. It’s disgusting and men should admit that it’s endemic. That still doesn’t change the fact that I’d never in my wildest dreams wish that someone, for whom there is clear evidence for them being that stupid, arrogant, and entitled, should be handed the power of the POTUS, regardless of they’re political affiliation. I think there are separable (though both important) issues in here somewhere.