Celebrities and Sexual Assault: The Towering Implications of the Trump Tapes

It may be a surprise, but I really don’t like being political. The political game has done nothing other than divide a nation on silly issues. American politics is a land of media sensationalism and people attacking others based on who they choose to vote for and chastising those who vote third-party if they can’t vote for either of the two big party candidates with a good conscience. I don’t support either of the two big-ticket candidates, and as a result, I often find myself wondering how we got here; two celebrities are running for president.

But my focus today is on the leaked “Trump Tapes,” an old video of Trump describing women in a deplorable light. The video in question can be viewed below, but be warned, the language within is very graphic.

https://static01.nyt.com/video/players/offsite/index.html?videoId=100000004698018

For users who cannot view the video, here is a transcript, also provided by the New York Times:

Donald J. Trump: You know and …

Unknown: She used to be great. She’s still very beautiful.

Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

Unknown: Whoa.

Trump: I did try and fuck her. She was married.

Unknown: That’s huge news.

Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.

She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture —

I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

Billy Bush: Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit. In the purple.

Trump: Whoa! Whoa!

Bush: Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!

[Crosstalk]

Trump: Look at you, you are a pussy.

[Crosstalk]

Trump: All right, you and I will walk out.

[Silence]

Trump: Maybe it’s a different one.

Bush: It better not be the publicist. No, it’s, it’s her, it’s —

Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Bush: Whatever you want.

Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.

The first half (transcribed above) is the controversial section, while the second half appears to be generic conversation. Many have called these words a gross depiction of rape and have called for Trump to drop out of the race. In defense of madness, Republican voters have attempted to defend Trump’s comments, saying, at the mildest, that the tape is eleven years old and Trump could be a different person, and at the worst, that they talk the same way about women.

But there are some alarming things that come to light due to these revelations. Trump described sexual assault as something he would gladly do and get away with while referring to women as if they were objects for him to “move in” on. In a society that has received flak for defending and giving lesser sentences to actual rapists, I found myself in total shock after thinking that Donald Trump was actually right.

A celebrity could do exactly what he described to a woman and get away with it. Maybe not Trump himself, since public opinion of him was already low before he ran for President, but maybe some other celebrity. We as a society don’t hold famous/important people accountable anymore. Remember Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines?” Sexual assault is not treated as a serious crime against another person as it should be. It amazes me to see that there are people who will still somehow vote for Trump, women especially.

So where does that leave us? Trump’s opinion on women has not improved at all. Here’s a whole list of every misogynistic comment he is known to have made. Trump himself appears to be tone-deaf to the issue, as is evidenced by this tweet after the leak of the tape:

Adding to his apparent total misunderstanding of the gravity of the situation, his apology video is as slim as he could possibly make it, instead going on to attack the Clintons for Hillary silencing victims of sex crimes perpetrated by Bill Clinton. I know nothing about such accusations and don’t have an opinion, but I was already voting third-party.

All I can say for sure is that I find it hilarious this was the breaking point for the GOP. After Trump’s comments about Hispanics/Latinos, muslims, black people, marriage equality, autism, and the disabled, comments about white women were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

319 million people, and we narrowed it down to this.

See you next time.

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