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Trump Perpetuates “Rape Culture” by Dismissing Video as “Locker Room Talk”

Sunday night during the second presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump dismissed audio heard in a recently released “Access Hollywood” video where he brags about kissing women and grabbing their genitals without consent as “locker room talk.” Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. The rage felt over these comments by me, my colleagues and thousands of survivors as well as millions of decent, good, hard-working people cannot be understated. He laughs and boasts about the very thing we at DVN work so hard to prevent.

Dismissing it in this way just perpetuates “rape culture,” the ways in which society normalizes male sexual violence and blames the victims. It is sickening in its implication, that all men grope women without their consent. It implies that all men view women as objects who exist for the pleasure of men. It implies that people in America understand that this conversation is justifiable and excusable because “all men talk like this, just not in public.”

“Locker room talk” and “boys will be boys” are archaic excuses people use to justify the objectification and assault of mothers, daughters, sisters and nieces. These “private” conversations have public consequences. Women and girls can’t be led to believe it’s acceptable the Republican presidential candidate thinks it’s OK to grab them because he’s famous. How can we, as a nation, excuse his actions and words?