The other ‘p’ word Donald cannot grab without consent: The presidency

Amanda Battle, Contributing Writer

Freedom of speech is a trademark of Donald Trump’s campaign; the Republican presidential candidate has won wild support over the last 16 months by leading a crusade against political correctness. Many Trump followers support the real estate tycoon’s bold, often shocking statements, saying “Donald Trump isn’t afraid to speak his mind,” and “he’s saying what we’re all thinking.”

In the United States, freedom of speech is a mainstay of our democratic government and critical to the functioning of society. As U.S. citizens, we have the freedom to say what we wish, regardless of how wildly unpopular it might be. We have the right to criticize the government and public officials without fear of persecution. However, this right does not leave us immune to judgement. Language and diction are precise tools, and the words we choose have undeniable impacts.

On Oct. 7, The Washington Post released a video of Trump dehumanizing and sexually objectifying women. In the video, he brags about his sexual prowess during a conversation with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” where Trump was making a cameo appearance. Trump was apparently unaware that his microphone was recording his lewd and sexually aggressive comments.

Here are a few highlights of the conversation, all voiced by Trump. The Bucknellian has chosen not to redact the colorful language seen here due to its extraordinary nature.

“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.”

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”  

“Grab them by the p*ssy. You can do anything.”

Earlier in the clip, Trump details a time when he tried to seduce a married woman, admitting he “moved on her very heavily” but failed in trying to “f*ck her.”

In the clip, Bush and Trump objectify and dehumanize the soap opera star whom Trump would be appearing with on “Days of Our Lives.” He refers to the woman by the pronoun “it” at one point—a pronoun used to describe objects, not people. This is the very definition of sexual objectification: treating a person like a sexual object with no regard for the person’s humanity.

In covering this video, The Washington Post referred to the conversation as “lewd.” Other news sources have described it as “explicit sex talk.”

However, Trump’s conversation with Bush was not “sex talk.” Sex is a consensual act. “Sex talk” stipulates that the intercourse or sexual activity being discussed was consensual. However, Trump explains in the video that the married woman did not desire nor consent to his advances. In fact, he admits that she rebuffed him, and that she just wanted to buy furniture.

In the video, Trump claims that consent is not necessary. He explains, “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” and adds, “You can do anything.”

However, federal law disagrees. The U.S. Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”

This is not “sex talk.” It is sexual assault talk.

“The candidate is describing forcing himself on women, bragging that they’re disinclined to object because of a power structure on which he knowingly capitalizes,” a senior editor at The Atlantic, James Hamblin, said.

Trump has the freedom of speech to make horrid comments about women. Trump has the constitutional right to objectify women, to call them fat, to attribute professional success solely to appearance, and to determine a woman’s worth by the “realness” or size of her “tits.”

However, the American people have the right to criticize him for this speech. The American people have the power to vote against him in order to to prevent this man, who clearly disrespects women and brags about breaking federal law, from holding the most precious office in our nation.

To the Trump supporters, I ask: Do you still believe he is “saying what we’re all thinking?” Does this man still represent your views? I suspect not.

Assaulting and disrespecting women are not Republican ideals; these issues are not political. Assaulting women is a crime. Disrespecting women is wrong. However, by continuing to endorse Trump, the GOP and Trump defenders are de facto supporters of Trump’s misogyny, sexual assault, and sexual objectification of women.

It is not too late to withdraw support of Trump. It’s time that we said “no more.”

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