It doesn’t take a locker room to make shitty men talk like shitty men amongst themselves, but at last night’s debate, Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that his 2005 comments that he used his wealthy status to sexually assault women by grabbing them by the pussy were “just locker room talk.” He then began ranting about ISIS, which last time I checked was not a party to his comments to Billy Bush.
Athletes derided Trump for intimating that conversations about using power to sexually assault women are common locker room talk, with some pointing out that his doughy ass probably hasn’t been in a locker room in years.
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In the last few days, I’ve seen men jump to say Trump is misrepresenting the way men talk about women when they are alone, and I’ve seen men jump to say that anyone who claims men do not speak lewdly about women when they are not around is a liar. As a woman, I can’t say whether it is one way or the other, which is yet another part of this that I find deeply unsettling.
The opinion amongst athletes who have spoken about this seems to universally be that Trump’s comments are not the norm in the locker rooms they live in all year, though it would take a special type of asshole (or presidential nominee) to tweet that they brag about sexually assault women while in a work environment.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley went off on Trump’s insistence that it was locker room talk in a series of tweets:
The truth of it is that while some men may speak of women with respect, and others might be lewd, rude, and predatory, among us there is only one currently on the ballot to become President of the United States. And we know what type of man he is.