Tonight, news broke that Donald Trump was recorded in 2005 talking about women in incredibly crude and degrading terms. Donald Trump has openly made misogynistic remarks over the course of his campaign and his public life. But these remarks go beyond sexist insults; in this taped conversation with television host Billy Bush, he advocates for sexual assault.
This isn’t about politics. It isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It is about right and wrong.
Sexual violence has no place in our society. And yet we have an audio recording of a candidate for president of the United States stating that because he's a “star,” he can sexually assault women — all while Billy Bush laughs along with him. After the Washington Post released the audio, Trump issued what could best be described as a non-apology, claiming that it was “locker room banter,” that Bill Clinton has said worse to him and that he’s sorry “if anyone was offended.” Billy Bush issued a tepid apology, claiming that he was embarrassed and excusing it as something that happened 11 years ago (Bush was 33 when the recording was made).
Most political leaders from both sides of the aisle have already denounced the recording, including Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, Governor Josh Kasich, Senator Mark Kirk, Senator Jeff Flake, Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus. Notably, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has defended Trump’s remarks as “bad boy talk.” This is one aspect of internalized misogyny: a woman has been so inundated with sexism, misogyny and “boys will be boys” type of excuses that even when confronted with a heinous example of a man advocating sexual violence against women, she still defends him.
This is not an example of someone being politically incorrect, or just calling it like he sees it. It is what rape culture looks like and sounds like. It is disgusting and demeaning. We have to stand up against statements like this, and against any man who would speak about women in this way — or laugh along as another man talks in this way.