Editorials

‘Locker room talk’ not just ‘one of those things’

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Donald Trump listens during his second presidential debate with Hillary Clinton Sunday in St. Louis.
Donald Trump listens during his second presidential debate with Hillary Clinton Sunday in St. Louis. TNS

Here’s an R-rated excerpt from what Donald Trump told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush 11 years ago about women. Unknown to Trump at the time, it was picked up on a hot microphone:

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

As most people who have followed the presidential election campaign know, X-rated comments about groping women followed.

Here’s what Trump said in a videotape released Friday night after those comments were exposed by the Washington Post:

“I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

He also sought to deflect criticism: “I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people,” referring to controversies surrounding Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Finally, he said this during Sunday night’s presidential debate:

“This was locker room talk. I am not proud of it. I apologize to my family, I apologized to the American people. Certainly, I am not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”

He also said, “Yes, I am very embarrassed by it and I hate it, but it’s locker room talk and it’s one of those things.”

Presidential politics aside, let’s all realize one thing: “locker room talk” like this is not just “one of those things.” The wrong that Trump did 11 years ago was more than “words.”

“Locker room talk” referring to women as sexual playgrounds, there to be taken and enjoyed, even if it is words without action, perpetuates attitudes and conditions that are both dangerous to women physically and a hindrance to their advancement personally and professionally.

Honorable men do not engage in it, and they set an example for their sons and others to shun it.

Trump’s performance in Sunday’s debate was powerful, much better than in the Sept. 26 debate. He forcefully expressed the political positions and demonstrated the temperament that won him the Republican presidential nomination.

His apology for his prior behavior was right. Attempting to brush it aside was not.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments