Trump’s version of locker room talk

Political rhetoric takes heat as the election cycle closes. | PC:

Political rhetoric takes heat as the election cycle closes. | PC:

The upcoming election has brought many scandals involving each of the candidates to light. One of the more recent was a video shot in 2005 featuring Donald Trump and Billy Bush, from “Access Hollywood.” They were on a bus travelling to the set of “Days of Our Lives” to shoot a segment about Trump on the show. The video, released by The Washington Post on Oct. 7 before the second presidential debate, captured Trump speaking vulgarly about a woman he had tried to seduce.

In an apology for the video, Trump stated, “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”

NBC Universal released Billy Bush’s statement of apology, where he commented, “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago—I was younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”

Trump defended his language in the video by calling it “locker room banter.” He claims Bill Clinton said worse to him during games of golf. Democrats and even Republicans in his own party aren’t satisfied with his explanation of the event. Media at large have spread a message of outrage over the video, but Trump’s loyal supporters and many others are growing tired of scandals associated with this election.

The Washington Post included the fact that Hillary Clinton tweeted about the video, saying “This is horrific,” and Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President, Dawn Laguens,  stated that, “What Trump described in these tapes amounts to sexual assault.”

Many athletes took offense to Trump’s defense of his disrespectful language as “locker room talk.” CNN wrote an article soon after the video was released that collected tweets from many athletes giving  their thoughts. Many athletes protested, offended by the insinuation that similar conversations are common in their locker rooms.

In an interview for New York Daily News, LeBron James said, "’We don't disrespect women in [any] shape or fashion in our locker room—that never comes up. I've got a mother-in-law, a wife, a mom and a daughter. Those conversations just don't go on in our locker room.’ ” Trump seemed to count on the stereotypical representation of men gathering together in private to talk about women as objects, rather than human beings. Awareness of how damaging words are has helped to change the nature of “locker room talk.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan told the Washington Post that, “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

On Oct. 8, 36 Republican members of Congress and several governors withdrew their support of Trump’s campaign in response to his behavior in the video. Despite the opposition within his own party, Trump refuses to drop out of the election. However, many in the Republican party are begging him to withdraw and allow vice-presidential candidate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, to run in his stead.

Representatives Barbara Comstock of Virginia and Martha Roby of Alabama were the first to ask Trump to resign his candidacy. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who is promoting her re-election against Democratic Margaret Hassan, current governor of New Hampshire, announced she would write in Pence for president and tweeted, “I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”

Fred Malek, the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association, added in an interview with New York times, “If [Republicans] pull the plug on support for Trump, the vast majority of voters will certainly understand that and most will respect it.” Trump’s campaign was losing support voters before the 2005 video was released, and only time will tell if the loss is expected to accelerate before the conclusion of the election.

Sara Roberts is a junior studying business administration