I’ve been training Brazilian jiu jitsu for well over 15 years now. Within that time, I’ve developed closer bonds with my teammates than many of the friendships I’ve acquired throughout my life. Naturally, we feel safe in our ‘locker room’ environment as we shoot the shit after training.
I’d be lying if I said that our conversations didn’t go to some fairly dark places during these moments. It can get pretty childish, and we even revel in our weekly reanimating of our brains from junior high school – and yes, sometimes our conversations focus around women (I’m imagining all your shocked faces).
While it’s not particularly brave or soul-searching to admit this, it’s an important distinction in the wake of the current viral media story and a certain presidential candidate’s scrambled attempts to rationalize it.
While I’m not justifying piggish comments directed towards women in private, I’m drawing a line between two kinds of men, namely those whose comments are based within the framework of consent, and those whose are not.
“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump said during a hot mic moment in an Access Hollywood video from 2005. “You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the p*ssy — you can do anything.”
As I told everyone once before, Wiener is a sick puppy who will never change-100% of perverts go back to their ways. Sadly, there is no cure
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2013
All across social media and cable TV, Donald Trump’s fans and surrogates want you to accept that this is just “locker room” talk, or that “all guys” talk this way. Personally, I’ve never heard any of the men I interact with share their fantasies of grabbing women’s genitalia without their permission. The most exciting aspect of human sexuality is that it’s a consensual act born from an emotional and physical connection. A sexual predator is only excited when sex is a form of violence that’s forced upon a victim.
Plain and simple, this is a description of sexual violence. Additionally, it’s not simply a matter of Trump relaying a fantasy while hanging with a bro. Trump is describing a violent act of sexual assault as if he’s done it many times before.
Rape culture is real, and now we have undeniable proof that the current GOP nominee for president is one of its most high-profile purveyors.