Recently, I wrote about the problems the male gaze can give women. Writing about it helped me realize that even a totally super-cool guy like me still has a few things to learn.
Of course, you don’t need to be a totally super-cool guy, or a sexuality professional, or anything other than a functioning adult to know that sexual assault is wrong, and that no one is entitled to sex with others, even if they’re a “star.”
Anyone who doesn’t understand that is developmentally incomplete. Or, to use even more technical language, a clueless, hostile, insecure, narcissistic jerk. Donald Trump, if the shoe fits, slide it up your butt.
But that’s not my point here.
Today’s point is the disgusting spectacle of people across the country—from career Republican politicians to ordinary voters—recoiling in horror from Trump-the-sex-maniac. Not Trump-the-political-maniac—Trump the sex manic.
The list is growing by the hour—from Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to ladies who lunch, students decrying “rape culture,” and white men talking about parenting their daughters. All these self-righteous Republicans are finally giving up on Trump because eleven years ago he bragged about groping women, called their genitalia “pussies,” talked about seducing married women, and gossiped about how sexually irresistible he is because he’s a “star.”
That’s what has made some adults withdraw their political support from him: Trump, in an unguarded private moment, bragging about sexual aggression and his mouth-watering sexual magnetism.
Of course this makes him repulsive. But after all he has said and done, this is what it took for thoughtful people to decide he isn’t fit to be President? Or that supporting him was politically inexpedient?
This says way more about how these people feel about sex—and believe the rest of us feel about sex—than it does about Trump. And what it says is that people are way more irrational, judgmental, terrified, and enraged about sexuality than about virtually anything else.
Republicans are passing off their own erotophobia as righteous condemnation of Trump’s disgusting nature. Apparently they’ve just discovered his “nature” this week.
For anyone who supported Trump until “pussygate,” here is what they found acceptable in a president (none of which Trump denies):
* Trump invited the Russian government to sneak into the records of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.
* Trump says America should require religious testing for immigrants.
* Trump spent years questioning Barack Obama’s birth status.
* Trump says a federal judge can’t be trusted because he’s Mexican (actually, he was born in Indiana).
* Trump says we should leave NATO.
* Trump says we should be less hesitant to use nuclear weapons.
* Trump refuses to release his tax returns, claiming it’s because he’s being audited. (The IRS denies Trump is being audited, and billionaire Warren Buffett just released his tax return although he’s currently being audited.)
But the very worst thing that Donald Trump has done is urging Americans to distrust their own government. For over a year he has continued to lie about the daily operation of our federal institutions: he says the unemployment figures are a hoax; that there is no tracking of incoming immigrants; that we’re one of the world’s highest taxed nations; and that illegal immigrants are treated better than veterans.
Trump’s lasting legacy will be undermining the legitimacy of the government he says he wants to lead. He says that if he loses, the election is rigged. He says if he loses, his supporters might turn violent. He says if Clinton is elected and abolishes the Second Amendment (which she doesn’t want to do, and couldn’t do anyway), gun owners might consider assassination. And he says when he wins, he will work to get Clinton jailed.
This is the banana republic Trump sees us as. He is damaging the democratic system he will leave behind, planting seeds of evil that will sprout as weeds of paranoia, xenophobia, survivalism, mistrust, and yes, violence. This goes beyond anything we have seen in a presidential candidate in our lifetime.
Apparently, dozens of Republican senators and Congressmembers, hundreds of Trump convention delegates, and an unknown number of regular people did NOT think Trump’s disdain for the America system disqualified him from being President—but that bragging about groping women’s “pussies” does.
And these people are saying they’re shocked, shocked to discover who Trump is. Really? Trump is the most consistent presidential candidate of the last half-century. After all he has said about women, said about himself, said about the other Republican candidates, and said about Hillary Clinton, can there be anyone actually surprised by this latest episode?
To repeat—non-consensual sexual contact of any kind is wrong, bad, inappropriate, and corrupting of society. But anyone who thinks that sexual corruption is worse than political, military, diplomatic, or financial corruption—all of which Trump has advocated and lived out—has a misplaced terror and rage about sexuality. And a misplaced sense of serenity about the kind of country we are, apparently, becoming—regardless of who wins next month.