OP-ED: It’s not just “locker room talk”

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Joseph Kamin, Sports Writer

The 2016 election is going to be one for the books, not just because for the first time that a woman has made it to the general election, but because America is accepting certain behavior from candidates as normal that has never been accepted normal behavior before.

I am referring to the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

Before getting too in depth about Trump, lets take a look at the 2008 and 2012 election cycles. During these election cycle Republicans started some controversies over how Michelle Obama dressed.  Many people at the time felt that Michelle’s choice of sleeveless dresses that exposed her arms was too “racy” and that it was unbecoming of a first lady. While wearing sleeveless dresses, the first lady also showed off her toned triceps and biceps.

And now in the 2016 election, Donald’s wife, Melania Trump, has posed for pictures while nude. Don’t misinterpret me, I am not shaming Melania. If she is confident enough to take pictures like that in front of a camera, then more power to her. She probably has more confidence in her body than I do. I am simply saying that a party that recently raised controversy over Michelle’s arms is now endorsing a candidate whose wife has posed for nude pictures. If the Republican party had even thought that Michelle had pictures half as racy as those, Barack would have been dragged through the mud for them and probably not have become president.

A recording has recently come to light of Trump in 2005 making several comments about kissing and groping women without consent.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything” said the Republican nominee.

After the tapes were released, Trump released a public statement saying that he apologized and that it was simply “locker room talk”.

But do you know the difference between “locker room talk” and Trumps comments? It’s a seven lettered word called consent. While this is a relatively small word, it is probably one of the most important in the English dictionary.

I’ve been in a locker room before; I know what happens when some guys get together. They lie and talk about sexual exploits that never actually happened and over embellish every single thing that they say. But in every story, consent is still present and nobody brags about being able to exploit women, grope women or kiss women due to their “celebrity status”, because everyone besides the current Republican party, calls that rape.

For the presidential candidate of the Republican party to come out and justify his comments and act like groping women without consent and then not be taken off the ticket for his party, is absolutely shameful for the Republican party.

Remember the story of Brock Turner? A Stanford swimmer who raped a drunk woman behind a dumpster? Everyone was outraged because he only got three months in jail, a punishment not fitting the crime. The sickening thing is that some people actually defended him. They said things like “she shouldn’t have drank so much” and “Oh well, she probably had been flirting and just passed out drunk”. This is often the defense for sexual assault, but there should be no rape culture. There should be no defense for rape. Or joking about rape or lack of consent.

But do you know how the rape culture in America is formed? It is from people in power, like Donald, bragging about groping and kissing women without consent and then normalizing it by saying that “Oh guys talk like that all the time, it was locker room talk.”

No that isn’t normal! No person that I’ve ever talked to in a locker room, or outside has once joked about doing anything without consent. You want to know why? Because I’m not a terrible person and neither are the people who I associate myself with.

In a locker room, I was exposed to chains of words that I had never heard strung together before and heard things that I probably shouldn’t have heard about until I was older. But I would rather hear an extremely vulgar and profane story that one of my friends told, than hear “I grope women without consent.” Because in the end, the difference between the stories is that one guy used profane language to tell a story about having consent and in the other, a clean worded story was told about doing something without consent.

Even if Donald was joking, and has never actually done those things, he stilled joked about rape. Remember the party that demonized Michelle for showing her toned arms? Yeah that party now has a candidate who “jokes” about rape.

Rape happens to real people Donald, even if you’ve never groped a woman without consent, it’s not a joking matter, especially if you’re trying to be the future president of the United States of America.