Helping Men Understand “Locker Room Talk” vs Sexual Assault

Sadly, as we’ve found out just what an absolutely vile person Donald Trump is and as it highlights a larger problem with how men view women, plenty of men still try to defend the idea of bragging about sexual assault as “just locker room talk” or “that’s just how guys are”.

So first things first, if this is truly how all the men in your life talk, you really need a better species of man in your life. Seriously, demand better, regardless of whether you’re another man or a woman who actually thinks there’s nothing better out there. Expect that the males in your life get their knuckles off the goddamn ground and stop trying to ignore a couple centuries of mental and societal evolution.

Because we all want sex. We all see people we desire and might talk among close friends about what we would do if we could, what we fantasize about, maybe even what we’ve done in the past. And regardless of gender, that talk can get lewd and border on objectification in private. That part is true enough and could actually be one of those universal things that united us if we let it.

But what Donald Trump did is not that. To a television interviewer, he admitted that he committed sexual assault by grabbing a woman’s privates that didn’t want him touching her. That’s the defining point. People wouldn’t care as much about Trump talking about particular parts of the body or bragging about what he’s done if it were truly in private and if the women actually consented!

That is the big crux, the issue of actual consent and the fact that the current right wing in general really wants women to feel like they don’t have that basic right to their own bodies. And fellow men, trust me, there’s a way that we would never stand for that consent being broken or violated on our end.

So, for guys still confused about the difference between Trump’s confession of sexual assault and the lewd conversations you might have among friends, I want you to imagine two scenarios as a man.

Scenario 1: You hear a bunch of women checking out guys and talking about what they’d do with them given half a chance. You probably laugh that off right? Even if you’re not attracted to the women in question, there’s little harm in it, and you probably don’t feel threatened the way someone might by a pack of guys. That’s “just talk”.

Scenario 2: A woman (or man even) with power of some kind corners you somewhere and starts all but demanding you go home with her. Even telling her you’re married or simply not attracted, she keeps coming after you and eventually grabs your balls painfully and says you’re supposed to go with her, please her, and she can do whatever she wants because she has contacts, influence, etc. then brags about how she got away with that to friends.

Scenario 2 is what it’s like to be Trump’s victim in the case of the tape or what it’s like to be a woman in far too many cases in this country.

So the next time you want to make excuses for other guys or tell women to “chill out” or anything similar, just ask yourself:

“Would I want my balls treated the same way this woman’s body was treated against my will?”

Odds are (with the exception of a few of you into this sort of thing) the answer would be “no”. And consider that when you claim something is “not a big deal”.

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