By now, most of us have heard the despicable, sickening and extraordinarily dangerous things Donald Trump said in a video from 2005 that was recently leaked to the media. Sadly, most of us were not surprised by it, but it did manage to be the final straw for millions of Americans who have simply had enough of this pathetic excuse for a human being. It’s not the first time we’ve heard Trump say repulsive things to and about women and so far, it’s not even close to being the last time but the outrage over these particular remarks seems to be increasing at record speed, as well it should. That is, unless you’re ride-or-die Trump supporter, Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (or any other of the depressingly high number of misguided followers who continue to pledge their allegiance to him, for that matter.)
Particularly in Sessions’ case though, as a member of the United States Senate, he revealed his complete and utter lack of competence to hold any kind of public office, as well as a desperate lack of knowledge regarding women, by stating publicly he didn’t believe Trump’s comments about kissing women without asking or grabbing them by the genitals whenever he felt like it described sexual assault. Not only does he reek of ignorance, he has now proven himself to be among the ranks of the millions of people in this country who do not understand rape culture or the endless danger women consistently face, made all the more worse by comments such as these spoken by, surprise, surprise, rich.white.men.
After Sunday night’s dumpster fire, otherwise known as the second Presidential debate, Sessions spoke to a reporter from The Weekly Standard while in the spin room and boy, did he spin things, alright. Sessions said, “This was very improper language, and he’s acknowledged that.” (No, he hasn’t.) When the reporter asked the follow-up question regarding whether or not Sessions believed the behavior described by Trump was sexual assault (it is), Sessions responded with, “I don’t characterize that as sexual assault. I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant…” Not backing off the topic, the reporter pressed on by asking, “So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?” to which Sessions replied, “I don’t know. It’s not clear that he — how that would occur.” He doesn’t know? It’s not clear how that would occur? Allow me to break it down for him: a man walks up to a woman he doesn’t know and without consent, forcefully thrusts his hands between her legs before sticking his tongue down her throat. That’s how it occurs and that is absolutely, undeniably, indisputably SEXUAL ASSAULT.
Of course, Trump supporters would rather point fingers, brush the comments off as something he said 11 years ago when he was much younger (he was just shy of 60-years-old at the time) and blame everything on Hillary Clinton instead. (I’m sure it’s somehow Obama’s fault, too. Thanks, Obama.) I feel deeply troubled there are women (or men. Or ANYONE) who continue to defend this man as if he were the second coming of Christ. This has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican; this has to do with the fact that Donald Trump is a narcissistic sociopath who puts us ALL in danger. He is a sexual predator with a decades-long track record to prove it and as we’ve already witnessed, his dangerous behavior will only escalate. Stable, secure, mentally healthy men do not speak like this. This is not “locker room” talk, as he’s so callously continued to refer to it. When Sunday’s debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump, “You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?” Trump responded with, “No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.” He did, in fact, say it and nothing about it was misunderstood.
Along with numerous politicians revoking their prior endorsements of Trump, several current and former professional athletes have also chimed in on the matter via Twitter to confirm his comments should in no way be considered “locker room” talk. MLB pitcher Sean Dolittle tweeted, “As an athlete, I’ve been in locker rooms my entire adult life and uh, that’s not locker room talk.” NFL player Chris Conley wrote, “Just for reference. I work in a locker room (every day)… that is not locker room talk. Just so you know…” and former English basketball player turned current educator John Amaechi writing, “Politics isn’t sport. The White House isn’t a locker room. Respecting women (et al.) seems a desperately low bar to fail in 2016.”
Desperately low indeed. What exactly will it take for the rest of his supporters to pull their heads out of the sand, open their eyes and see this man for the monster he truly is? As for Sessions, I suggest he go back to kindergarten to learn we don’t touch other people without their permission. Ever. Because if we do, it’s called “assault.”