Every woman in America should write a thank you note to Donald Trump. Were it not for his pursuit of our government’s highest office, we may never have had an opportunity of this scale to shine a spot light on what wrong looks like. The election coverage is a ubiquitous national platform that has brought about a new level of awareness and understanding about sexual assault.
Despite the cultural corrosion of reality shows that glorify people who appear to have never been taught to solve problems with more than their brain stems, the majority of us have standards of behavior that we expect as civilized humans. This election is a completely unexpected and salient backdrop against which to view painfully coarse and criminal misogyny. It has elevated the discussion in a way never before seen.
The best part of this whole ordeal is that prior to that Friday on October 7th, when the Washington Post broke the story, “locker room talk” was still considered a valid excuse for objectifying and dehumanizing women. For many men “talk”, no matter how profane, is generally shrugged off as harmless when in fact it normalizes the mindset that is at the heart of rape culture. It has been well researched that the first step to committing sexual violence is objectification. Thinking of a girl or woman as a “thing” makes it much easier to perpetrate an act of violence. No human–no crime.
The hot mic video and backlash that followed started a conversation among men that might not have happened otherwise. There were consequences. Billy Bush lost his Today Show gig and Trump was crucified in the media by well known Conservatives. All of those repercussions from “talk.”
Trump’s misogynist comments have created a national sexual assault awareness bon fire that has grown so big, it can be seen from space. Mr. Trump, this is one thing you did, albeit unintentionally, that you definitely get credit for.