The world is Trump’s locker room

This post from Chait is so good:

Trump’s primary defense has rested on the metaphor of the “locker room,” a phrase the candidate and his surrogates have repeated so monotonously that some of them have actually come to believe Trump’s comments were uttered in an actual locker room. (Representative Ted Yoho, yesterday: “I do not make those excuses for somebody that said something 11 years ago in a locker room.”) The locker-room defense is a two-step mental exercise. The first step is to imagine the locker room as a kind of ethereal plane in which men make statements that bear no relationship to their character or events in the actual world. Even the confession of an actual crime becomes meaningless if it can be confined to this realm. The “locker room” is like patients describing their dreams to a psychiatrist. The next step in the exercise is to extend the metaphorical locker room beyond the physical space of a locker room, to include any conversation between men, and ultimately all physical space…

“By what standard are they judging Trump?” asks Limbaugh. The answer is, by the very standard he has said: consent. Trump is harming women by touching them unwillingly. Limbaugh is unable to grasp that “consent” is literally a form of morality — that people should have control over their own sexual decisions, and violating their body against their will is, by this standard, immoral. This is an extremely simple notion of morality, if you think of women as human beings. Limbaugh keeps returning to the putative contradiction, which boggles his primitive brain:

Morality is what it is. Virtue is what it is. And you either are or you aren’t. And the left doesn’t like that so they’ve obscured the lines and the definitions. And the definition now is moral is whatever you can get somebody to do with you, consent. You can do anything. If you could get the dog to consent with you, if you can get the horse to consent, we got no problem with it. And they don’t! So morality has been boiled down to consent, is my point, and it’s true.

Since sexual assault is a way of life for Trump, there is going to be no end to the reporting of them. There could be dozens more stories — journalistic resources being the only limiting factor. Eventually, flyspecking every individual account of Trump’s assaults — what about the armrests? — will become impossible. Either Trump’s supporters will have to argue that they are willing to accept his behavior because they care more about policy, or they will have to follow the path of D’Souza and Limbaugh, extending the logic of the locker room and its limitless zone of male sexual entitlement through to its ultimate conclusion.

Also, so good.  Michelle Obama’s speech today (I skipped to the good part as identified by Drum).  Damn, this woman is awesome.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to The world is Trump’s locker room

  1. Mika says:

    Yes, Michelle Obama is awesome.

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    So, the locker room is a sort of a lock box in which to keep men’s worst instincts safe and private?

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