Just for context’s sake and as no apologetic, I listened to the infamous recording with male ears, and heard several things:
- an older man, near sixty, saying back to younger men what they obviously were thinking but were not articulating, a narrative I have heard throughout my life from elders male and female alike that amounts to “what, you think your generation invented sex?” The younger guys were shocked and embarrassed, not at the inappropriateness of it, but at the fact that even though they didn’t think it was, they would not have maybe put their own thoughts quite that way.
- that older man beginning his anecdote with a discussion of what he had sought and by his own term “failed” to do because permission had been denied him and he desisted because of its denial. Then he went on to say what he himself could marvel at, in terms of what a very narrow range of women actually would grant him permission to do.
I personally think it was a mistake for Trump to apologize at all. Man talk is man talk, and men’s business. God knows, our right to speak frankly to each other, even to our own sons, as man to man, has been compromised enough already, and to not have it monitored and dissected for political ends by people triumphantly holding it up as some final proof of our generally evil nature for being male.
What we might think about women, anything, and how we express that to other men, is not in my terms open for review, subject to sociopolitical assessment in the achieving of goals already based on a narrative of “toxic masculinity”, and short of actual assault actually ensuing thus making the talk into a conspired-upon action, nobody’s business.
What really ought to be on trial here, is not the man or men in the scene, but the use of sleazy eavesdropping, selective and carefully well-timed publication of interpersonal communications, and above all, the vindictive glee passing as prudish moral outrage that so often and consistently attends such ridiculous summaries of what a man means when he speaks to other men.
If it had been me, I would have said,
“yes, I said it, no, it was no one else’s business to listen in, yes I will step down out of this race right now if you people are too juvenile and delicate to look human realities in the face and stop transforming them into witch hunts and public lynchings, and no, such a nation of such hypocritical, judgmental, shrinking-violet pussies is not worth my trying to lead.
“Good luck with your ill-tempered, corrupt, fake-feminist rape-apologist married to a serial rapist and surrounded with some of the creepiest and most predatory men in the history of public service, because you have shown one too many times here, that you deserve her.
“Thank you, and God HELP the United States of America.”