The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Condoning Trump is condoning rape culture

By now, I am sure you have heard or read the appalling comments presidential nominee Donald Trump made about women in 2005. The audio recording, released by The Washington Post a few days ago, seems to have rattled the entire United States–news outlets are going haywire and Facebook users are spreading their opinions in spirited debates. At the same time, somewhere in this country a woman is crying in desperate, agonized fear after being sexually assaulted.

I do not know the latter for certain, but statistically, it is extremely likely. According to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an individual is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the United States. 

With women accounting for nine out of 10 rape victims, it is easy to imagine the amount of sexual assault that occurs against women every single day. 

These women are crying in fear. Not only because their rapist will most likely walk free–97 percent of sexual predators do– but because we live in a country that allows and even condones the continuation of rape culture. 

We condone it so much that we have even allowed a man who abusively talks down on women to become a presidential nominee. 

This is not the first time Trump has made lewd comments about women. He has been saying rude things about half of the planet for decades–a quick Google search will provide enough material to make you want to barf for days. 

Everything from saying he found 12-year-old Paris Hilton attractive, to agreeing with Howard Stern that his daughter, Ivanka, is a “piece of ass” and, as was revealed last week, saying he can grab women “right by the p***y” because of his celebrity status. 

Many people, men and women alike, are chalking Trump’s comments up to just “locker room” talk saying that this is just how men are and we should know this by now. This disturbs and infuriates me for many reasons–but it really should infuriate men the most. 

I hold men to a higher standard than that. Men are capable, intelligent individuals who do not have to degrade women just to be “one of the guys.” If you think so little of men that you do not believe they can talk about women in a civil fashion, then what does that say about our culture? Are those defending Trump not the same people who scream “not all men?” 

Trump’s language is not just harmless guy talk. It is misogynistic and degrading to women and men alike–and it is very, very dangerous. I can see how people want to blow Trump’s comments off as just words, claiming we as voters should be paying attention to the “real” issues.  

Nonetheless, I want you to stop and think about the power the president holds. If Trump becomes president, I have no doubt sexual assaults would rise, or at least attitudes toward them would become even more flippant. 

Why? Because when you have a man with as much influence as the president of the United States talking about women in such disparaging ways, as he has done for decades, it only encourages the palpable rape culture we already have in our country. 

With rapists hardly serving any time as is, how do you think people will react if the President publically does not care about rape, either? 

Zerlina Maxwell, a writer at Time Magazine, said, “It’s no surprise that we would refuse to acknowledge that rape and sexual violence is the norm, not the exception. It’s no surprise because most of us would rather believe that the terrible realities we hear about aren’t real or that, at least, we can’t do anything about it.” 

Living in a society that ignores rape culture, blames its victims and claims we are defenseless is something every woman in America has been made used to throughout her life. 

But we are capable. We are every bit capable. We can choose not to vote for Trump when election day arrives. 

We have to stand and raise our voices against the culture he promotes. We might be victims of this culture, but this does not mean we should be victims of defeat. 

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Condoning Trump is condoning rape culture