On the fragile egos of teenage boys and orange men
Let's be honest: We live in the real world, a world where the misogynistic comments Donald Trump was caught on tape making in 2005 are comments most men have heard at some point; in locker rooms and smoking corners and other places where adolescent boys think they are alone. It's the talk of the boy who claim to have slept with the hottest girls in his class. It's the talk of the boy who claims to have touched the breasts of his girlfriend's best friend. It's the talk of the boy who brags about sneaking in to watch his older sister take a shower. It's the talk that makes the other boys laugh uncomfortably; or cringe; or slowly back away vowing never to hang out with this kid again. Except for the few who foolishly play along thinking it will boost their status.
What we heard from the Presidential candidate this week is an insecure boy who, believing he has nothing else to contribute to the conversation, turns to the most animal of human instincts: sex and dominance: My ability to procreate with the most desirable females is proof of my alpha-male status. Bow to my power.
What I hear on this tape is a 59 year old man with an ego so fragile he feels compelled to prove his dominance over a younger and far less powerful man; like a hormone fueled teenager desperate for approval he brags about his ability to lay claim to another man's woman, and how his alpha male status gives him unlimited access to women's bodies. These are not the words of a mature man. They are the feverish wet dreams of a confused child who has yet to learn the importance of respecting others.
These misogynistic comments are not idle locker room banter or off-color jokes. They are not "just words." They are a window into the soul of the speaker. They are the words of someone who sees women as objects to please his desires. They are the words of someone who thinks his worth is measured by his sexual accomplishments. They are the words of a coward who brags about abusing women to show his power because he has nothing better to contribute.
I feel nothing but embarrassment, shame, and pitty for Donald. How embarrassing to have your fragile ego revealed for what it is in such a public way. How shameful to have no other recourse than to use the sexual exploits and exploitations of another man to explain your own abusive behavior. How pitiful it is to see a 70 year old man still trapped in his 7th grade locker room bragging about his imaginary conquests to win points with the cooler kids.
Let's be honest. We're living in the real world, a world where we can teach boys that this kind of talk is never OK, and help them grow into men who see the value in respecting others no matter their gender. We can teach our children that misogyny and gender-based discrimination is bad for everyone.
As for the 70 year old manchild running for President, I fear that ship sailed about six decades ago.