Opinion: Trump comments violating

Trump has described comments made in the leaked recording as "locker-room banter". PHOTO/AP
Trump has described comments made in the leaked recording as "locker-room banter". PHOTO/AP

It seems not a day has gone by the past few months without Trump dominating the headlines for one controversial comment or another. It almost became a game of how-far-can-he-go. And just when we thought nothing that came of his ego-driven mouth could shock, audio was leaked from 2005 and the world was shaken out of its bemused reverie. Suddenly it wasn't so funny any more.

A spokesperson for the White House has said that the actions described in the Trump recording could constitute sexual assault.

In my view, what the recording has done is remind us that, in a few men's eyes, women's bodies are not their own.

You can just "grab 'em by the p****" if you like.

Trump's comments brought to my mind a recent incident where I was propositioned, while walking in the dark, by a man leaning out of the window of his car. Fortunately, he drove off after realising that he was not going to be successful, but the situation brought my vulnerability into sharp focus.

I scolded myself for being foolish enough to walk home alone.

But why should I feel foolish for doing what many men and boys do freely every day?

The answer is in the Trump tapes.

The recording represents the ownership that some men out there feel over women's bodies; the belief that "you can do anything" you want to a woman. His comments are violating in the same way as the wolf whistle on the street or grope in a club that we try to pretend doesn't bother us.

It is frightening that someone in such a powerful position, someone that might soon represent a country, said this. But what is worse is that he has repeatedly dismissed the conversation as "locker room" banter. Chat casually shared between men while women aren't listening. So the fact that women weren't supposed to hear this conversation is supposed to make it OK?

This kind of predatory rhetoric is why I walk down the road at night looking over my shoulder.

It's demeaning, it's wrong, and it's something I don't expect to hear in 2016.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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