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Editorial

Trump’s behavior promotes rape culture, is intolerable

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October 13, 2016

If you own a television, use social media or look at what is trending online, you’ve undoubtedly heard Donald Trump’s degrading remarks about women. In a recently leaked conversation from 2005, Trump speaks with television host Billy Bush (with a microphone on him, nonetheless) openly about being able to do whatever he wants with women, simply because he’s famous.

“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said in the audio. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

The conversation goes into more detail, with comments about forcibly grabbing women by their genitals. Even more questionable comments have been released as of late. In an “Entertainment Tonight” Christmas feature from 1992, Trump is seen talking to a little girl and turns to the camera and says, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?” Women have also come forward accusing Trump of touching them inappropriately.

This kind of conduct is absolutely unacceptable, and it promotes rape culture. Openly admitting that he doesn’t wait for consent and bragging about getting away with it sends an unhealthy message. The idea that someone should be able to take consent from someone else, under any circumstances, tells people that it is OK to disregard others’ bodies and wishes.

Additionally, Trump’s apology is lacking. He apologizes if one is offended, yet he doesn’t apologize for what he actually said. In subsequent statements, Trump has referred to the conversation as “locker room banter.” What does this say about our athletes? Surely, athletes at UW-River Falls and everywhere else know better. Do not excuse this kind of behavior by comparing it to the conversations held in actual locker rooms. It is not OK under any circumstances.

As a society, we cannot accept this kind of behavior. It is intolerable. When you hear people talking like this or excusing Trump’s actions, speak up. If you’re still unsure about what the problem is, we encourage you to attend the events included in this year’s It’s On Us Week of Action from Oct. 24-28.