Since the release of a video featuring Donald Trump unwittingly speaking into a hot mic about how great it is that his celebrity allows him to nonconsensually grab women’s genitals without consequence, Trump has thrice dismissed the celebration of sexual assault as “locker room banter” or “locker room talk.” Pro athletes across the U.S. have united to say that, in fact, such banter is not acceptable in any of the locker rooms they frequent. (You can take that with as many grains of salt as you choose.) But it raises the question: If that banter isn’t happening in the locker rooms of the Dodgers or the Falcons or the Clippers, in which locker rooms is it taking place?
There is still one more chilling but less-discussed aspect of the Trump video. Yes, his language is vulgar, and yes, his casual discussion of sexual assault is horrifying. But two reporters, in separate pieces, point out that there’s something even more disturbing about the video: the way they talked about actress Arianne Zucker, Trump’s costar-to-be, as she waited, unsuspecting, at the end of their bus trip.
[Content note for sexual assault]
On Friday, the Washington Post published a heretofore unseen video from 2005 in which Donald Trump, in the Access Hollywood bus on the way to a cameo on “Days of Our Lives,” gives us a good look at how much he really respects women. Talking with Billy Bush, into a mic that he didn’t know was hot (Donald, are you sure that a malfunctioning microphone isn’t the best thing for you at this point?), he makes it clear that no, women aren’t more than objects to be evaluated, disparaged, and abused at his whim.
Ivanka Trump, trotted out of late as proof that obviously Donald can’t possibly be a misogynist because some of his sperm has X chromosomes in it, has taken to video to tell us all about Donald’s policy proposals for working moms. (It’s the one he only developed because Ivanka herself pushed him to it, saying, “Daddy, daddy, we have to do this!” because nothing says “I respect women” like making your adult daughter sound like Veruca Salt at a campaign stop.) And because we can’t have woman- and family-friendly policies in place just because they’re the right thing to do in our current economy and societal structure, Ivanka had to come right out of the gate telling us that the most important job that any woman can have is mother.
She, her inherited real estate job, her clothing company, and her nanny speak directly from the heart.
So I, my freelance job, my sporadic blog writing, and my two largely self-sufficient dogs will do the same.
This open thread is brought to you by Hillary Clinton openly laughing at Donald Trump’s buffoonery.
The Trump campaign’s attempts to humanize The Donald via a Twitter campaign by his kids have gotten off to a rocky start. First, there was the “insider vs. outsider” tweet featuring Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., #millennialsfortrump. Most recently, it’s Junior’s Skittles tweet, which equates Syrian refugees to poisonous Skittles.
Allow me to, as an advertising professional, break down some of the mistakes Junior made in his tweet.
[Content note for racism and child sex abuse]
I get that we’re supposed to love Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham on account of they aren’t thin, and that they’re proudly imperfect and not trying to be perfect, and that they’re bold enough to do raunch humor even though women aren’t supposed to do that, and whatever, I get it. They do catch a lot of criticism for being self-absorbed and self-unaware, for occasionally poking their head out of their hole long enough to do something shitty, double down ‘cause haters, and then apologize (sometimes) and go back to their self-absorption. But I have to posit that maybe Dunham’s super-white TV-Brooklyn is actually the best place for her. Because dress her up in a tux and march her out into real-life Manhattan, and she’s going to end up sitting next to Odell Beckham at a gala and assigning him misogynistic motives for not hitting on her like apparently he was supposed to. And then complaining about the “outrage machine” on Twitter (doubling down, haters)… and ultimately apologizing.
So I’m totally cool with being done with them.
[Trigger warning for rape]
Well, that was quick.
In a development that definitely disappoints but doesn’t surprise, Brock Turner was released from jail Friday, a stunningly short three months into an already pathetic six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Early release for good behavior, you know. Nice boy that he is, who just made some bad decisions this one time.
Western Ohio… he’s yours now.
[Trigger warning for ableist slur]
Do you remember when Donald Trump struck out at New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski by mocking him during a campaign speech? Kovaleski committed the dual sins of having arthrogryposis, a congenital joint contracture, and for calling bullshit on Trump’s claims that thousands of Muslims were celebrating in New York after 9/11. Trump later denied that he was mocking Kovaleski, saying that his twitching, flailing, stammering impersonation was actually “mimick[ing] what [he] thought would be a flustered reporter[.].” In her new book, In Trump We Trust, Ann Coulter agrees that he wasn’t mocking Kovaleski, but her position is that he was doing an impersonation of a “standard…” No, I just can’t.
Because we needed another reminder that a promising young athlete’s bright potential mustn’t be dimmed by the consequences of a rape conviction: 18-year-old rising collegian David Becker was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery after sexually assaulting two unconscious classmates at a house party in 2015. The district attorney recommended two years in prison, but Palmer District Court Judge Estes ordered a continuation without finding for two years. During his two years of probation, Becker has to avoid drugs and alcohol, submit to evaluation for sex-offender treatment, and stay away from his two victims. He won’t have to register as a sex offender and won’t have a conviction on his record as long as he sticks to the terms of his probation, which is good for this community service-serving, college-bound, three-sport athlete, because, his lawyer said, “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19[.].”
On Monday night, Donald Trump’s wife Melania touched hearts as she addressed the Republican National Convention, sharing the lessons she learned growing up as a black girl on the South Side of Chicago. As first spotted by journalist Jarrett Hill, Melania’s speech bore more than a passing resemblance to another speech at another convention about eight years ago — Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention. The cribbed portion discussed the values that Michelle and Melania apparently share, including working hard for what you want in life and keeping your word.
I apologize for Feministe’s long, long radio silence, and I hate that this is the occasion to break it. This space is available for discussion of the recent extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Updates and links to commentary will be added as they arise. Please be respectful and take your “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” elsewhere; this is neither the time nor the place.