Posted On October 9, 2016 By In World And 328 Views

US election 2016: Why this Trump row is different

The day after a video tape emerged in which he suggested he could have any woman he wants because he’s a star and so could just “grab them by the pussy”, Mr. Trump is in a whole ocean of hot political water. Enough, quite possibly, to sink any chance he had of winning the White House. Why this tape – and not the myriad other controversies that have dogged him in recent weeks? First, analyse what he actually says. There is something particularly sexist, I’d say abusive, about this recording. “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” “Whatever you want,” the interviewer says. “Grab ’em by the pussy, you can do anything,” Trump replies.” It’s the way Mr Trump reveals that he sees women as a piece of sexual meat, something he wants, grabs, discards that is so damning. Surveys (US government and UN) suggest one in five American women are the victim of rape or attempted rape and a staggering 83% of girls suffer sexual harassment at school. Mr Trump is not guilty of either of those but his language is exactly the kind of language that encourages men and boys to feel it’s okay to abuse women. There is a violence in the phrases “grab ’em by the pussy” and “you can do anything” that any victim of abuse would recognise and that most women would find sickening. To dismiss the tape as mere “locker room banter” and imply that the people who are offended are making an unnecessary fuss, or to say, as he did in his bizarre overnight apology tape, that this is just a distraction, compounds his problem. Mexicans protest against TrumpImage copyright. But this tape doesn’t just offend women, judging from the reaction in the Republican party – it has offended a lot of men too. Whether those men will now withdraw their endorsements of him is yet to be seen. Mr Trump has denigrated people before. His comments about Muslims and Mexicans have arguably been equally grotesque and many, including some Republicans, have suggested they disqualified him for the presidency too. Not everyone in America, however, knows a Muslim or a Mexican. Most people, and most voters, do have wives, mothers, sisters or daughters and that’s why this tape touches a nerve, with both sexes, in a way his previous remarks haven’t. Powerful men using their position to get sex is nothing new, even in the White House. JFK and Bill Clinton paved that path. Today some of Trump’s supporters are making the case that anyone who voted for Bill Clinton has no right to be offended by Donald Trump.

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