A recently surfaced tape from 2005 reveals Donald Trump’s lewd and derogatory comments toward women in a conversation with Access Hollywood star, Billy Bush. Trump is heard commenting on “kissing beautiful women” without their permission, claiming that “When you’re star, they let you do it. You can do anything” to women. “Grab ‘em by the p—y,” he said.

The video ignited a turbulence of conversations on the presidential candidates incompetence and utter brainlessness, but more importantly stirred conversations on the deeper underlying issues of his comments that depict hate towards women, rape culture in America, violence, sexual assault, verbal abuse, and the “toxic workplace environment(s) that those comments condone,” as written by TIME magazine.

In response, major online news portals and social justice organizations across America delved into the underlying issues of Trump’s not-so-rare sexist comments, and used the example as a teachable moment to examine America’s prominent rape culture.

Here are some of their observations and responses to Trump’s comments:

TIME MAGAZINE: “The video that surfaced Friday of Donald Trump bragging about forcefully kissing and groping women describes not just blatant sexual assault, but a very specific kind—that which is inflicted by powerful men on the women who work in their proximity.”

HUFFINGTON POST: “Preventing sexual assault in this country is no less important than preventing terrorism or stopping ISIS.” When Trump flippantly excuses his misogynistic comments as “locker room talk,” he is reminding every survivor of sexual assault that their voices don’t matter; he insists that their stories and their bodies and their lives don’t matter.”

“Trump moving on to “bigger things” recalls the same deep disregard for women as a judge telling a survivor they don’t want to ruin her rapist’s “promising” or “successful” future. Trump using ISIS as a “more important” issue than rape, is another reminder to survivors to not come forward with their stories because no one will care, much less believe them.

TIME: “It’s fun and normal, Trump suggests, for men to hang out talking about grabbing women by their crotches and forcing them to kiss you. This is the root of sexual violence: The idea that women aren’t autonomous human beings with the right and ability to say yes to sexual interactions we want and no to those we don’t, but that we’re receptacles for male sexual desire, that our bodies are up for grabs (literally, in this case.)”

“This is where women need to put our collective foot down and say you can’t insult us and talk about assaulting us and still expect our votes. That’s an awfully low bar, but still, a significant number of white women say they support Trump. Many women are used to being treated terribly by men – of those one in five who are sexually assaulted, most are assaulted by someone they know. Even women who aren’t sexually assaulted know from experience that there’s a shocking number of men who hate us for existing. Others prefer to pretend that’s not true, that the husband who complains about the bitches he works with is just stressed, that the boyfriend who talks to you with contempt when he’s in front of his friends is just trying to fit in, that the father who says women should be at home with the kids and not out taking men’s jobs is simply old-school, that the boss who ignores your comments and nods approvingly at the men favors them for some fair reason you just can’t see.”

WASHINGTON POST: Ignited by Trump’s comments, author Kelly Oxford tweeted asking women to share their sexual assault stories with her. She received 13 thousands retweets and approximately 10 million responses in 3 days.

“Though reports of sexual violence in the U.S. have fallen by more than half since 1993, an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes, according to statistics from the Rape Abuse Incest National Network, a nonprofit that advocates for survivors of sex crimes.”
“About one of every six women in the U.S. — and about one in 33 men — has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, the group said.”

“As the number of stories mushroomed, Oxford created a list where people could more easily see those who had responded directly to her (Kelly Oxford) with their sexual assault experiences.”

THE ATLANTIC: (Here is a piece on the initial obstacles faced by women pursuing higher education, and how they were mistreated by men and seen as incompetent “distractions” in a professional space.)

“The unfettered ways in which older men and even male college students expressed their disdain for women, and their sense that women belong in a different or lesser category or status—it is really stunning. One has to work hard to remember an era in which that was just the way it was.”

“They were constantly under a microscope. Everybody was watching them. They were constantly asked for the woman’s point of view, in every class—whether it was in engineering or mathematics, where there is no woman’s point of view, or a class in history, literature, psychology, or sociology. It may have been that their male teachers thought they were paying appropriate attention to the women who were new students, but that isn’t the way it worked. It worked to make those students feel very self-conscious, as though they weren’t just students—they were representing their gender.”

QUARTZ: “Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world, and this is nothing more than a distraction,” said Trump.

“But in the real world, a quarter of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes.

“So you know what would make America great again? Acknowledging that when our girls and mothers and sisters and aunts and friends are assaulted, we are all under threat.”

VANITY FAIR: “The Republican nominee deflected by accusing Bill Clinton of predatory sexual behavior, and Hillary Clinton of enabling him.”

HUFFINGTON POST: “Rape culture is why victims of rape and sexual assault feel unsafe reporting their assaults to law enforcement.”

“Rape culture is why even when these crimes are reported and prosecuted, the perpetrators rarely see the inside of a jail cell.”

“Rape culture is why the vast majority of women have experienced street harassment.”

“Rape culture is why many female victims of sexual violence are still asked what they were wearing and drinking when the assaults occurred.”

“Rape culture is what allows famous men like Bill Cosby to remain untarnished in the public eye until more than 50 women publicly accused him of sexual assault.”

STOP STREET HARASSMENT ORG: “In 2014, SSH commissioned a 2,000-person national survey in the USA with surveying firm GfK. The survey found that 65% of all women had experienced street harassment. Among all women, 23%  had been sexually touched, 20% had been followed, and 9% had been forced to do something sexual. Among men, 25% had been street harassed (a higher percentage of LGBT-identified men than heterosexual men reported this) and their most common form of harassment was homophobic or transphobic slurs (9%). ”

PRO PUBLICA: “It has been no easy thing to establish the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in America.”

“Victims often choose not to report the crimes. Police in more than one major city have been exposed for misclassifying or burying reports of rape and other sexual assaults. Local police departments routinely fail to cooperate with the FBI’s efforts to compile annual crime statistics.”

“For decades, the problems included something as basic as defining what constituted rape. Operating under a definition of rape adopted in 1929, the FBI for close to a century didn’t count male victims. Or women who were too frightened to resist their attackers.”

LA TIMES: The LA Times compiled a list of traditionally ‘prominent’ Republicans who no longer support Donald Trump after the video released of Trump degrading women and suggesting that he “kisses beautiful women” without their permission because he’s a “star” and therefore women “let him.”

COMMON DIGITAL NEWS: “California now leads the way in the ongoing effort to remedy this situation, having passed a series of laws that eliminate pernicious and outdated distinctions in the law and make penalties stiffer for crimes of a sexual nature that are committed against unconscious women. The California laws speak directly to the scenario of rape, including those in which college women who have passed out due to intoxication or who otherwise are unable to object to an attack even if they are not completely unconscious.”

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: This study finds women driven out of professional spaces through harassment. “The number of sexual harassment claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is significant — there were 6,822 claims of sexual harassment in 2015. And we continue to hear stories about sexual harassment in academia, medicine, science, and engineering driving women out of STEM.”

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Sexual Assault and America’s Rape Culture: The Underlying Issues of Trump’s Derogatory Comments on Women

Justice & Poverty, News | 0 Comments