This morning I was watching the US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, that unsurprisingly covered the just a few day earlier published tape revealing Trump’s comments on kissing unwilling women and groping them between their legs. As if his words on the tape weren’t bad enough, showing how he thinks as a star he can do anything to women, but his self-claimed “apology” was even worst.
“Just words”. “Locker room talk”.
I can only imagine how insulting and painful listening to such lame excuses is for rape-victims as it’s already humiliating to every feeling human being.
The world has always belonged to white, privileged men and admittedly far worse things have been said and done. But one would expect a lot more from a US presidential candidate. Even if the person is Trump. A lot more. How about an honest apology, without excuses?
Fortunately in today’s world such talk is less tolerated. Women have grown more confident and know to demand respect. Many men are also standing up to support women and their drive for equality in all aspects. Social media spreads the word, demands for justice.
What made me truly flip with this so called apology or excuse, was the reference to “just words”. Words hurt. Words cause harm. Words are powerful tools.
I was bullied in school and have now spent over 20 years recovering from that time, from those words. It was “just words”, but they weren’t just words to me. Those words caused pain and misery and self-doubt and keep affecting me still this day. I am living a happy life, know how to appear confident and have built a self-esteem, but those words from 20+ years ago will always haunt me. It’s been a long journey of recovery and self-discovery and I’m proud to be who I am today, of how far I’ve come despite the words that tried to prevent me.
“Just words and locker room talk” takes us back to the same old “boys are boys” excuses that violated women have always had to hear, always had to endure and overcome. Women, and men for that matter, have come a long way in our long hard journey towards equality, and I can’t stand another white privileged male trying to rip all those achievements away and take us back to the beginning.
Words are not just words. And joking about a rape or any form of physical assault is not funny. Not in a locker room, no where. Not ever.
And Trump, you claiming that “no one has more respect for women” than you – that is “just words”, without a meaning, without any content, without any justification behind them. I haven’t seen any action to prove otherwise, either.