OPINION: If you think 'locker room talk' is OK, you're part of the problem
(This column is by Poteau Daily News Reporter Jenny Huggins. It was published in print Oct. 15, 2016.)
Just like the rest of the civilized world, I'm offended by Trump.
I could just leave it there because every single thing about him is offensive but I guess I'll elaborate on the one thing everyone is talking about, his statement about grabbing p----.
I know what Trump supporters say: "It's just locker room talk," "Guys say worse words all the time," "Don't be so sensitive."
Let me enlighten you, it's not the word, it's the action. It's called sexual assault.
If you force yourself on someone without consent, you're a rapist. I understand that some of you may now have to start thinking of yourselves as rapists instead of one of the "good 'ole boys" having fun with women, but it's true. If you don't have consent, you're a rapist.
It's excuses such as the locker room talk that give us boys who think it's OK to rape girls if they're drunk, wearing the wrong clothes or basically doing anything that a normal human should be able to do without being assaulted.
As for the "guys say worse things defense," you again are part of the problem if you allow that to happen. If you and your buddies are sitting around talking and one of them brags about taking advantage of a women for whatever reason and you laugh at it, you're a horrible human.
Rape is never funny, sexual assault is never funny. Think of five women you know and now think that four of them have probably had this happen to them and you're partially to blame if you are one of those who think boys will be boys and this is just talk.
It's not, and allowing it to continue is what makes those deplorable "men" think it's OK to force themselves on women whenever the mood hits them.
I can think of more friends than not who have been victims of this entitlement. And if you're thinking that women think all men are rapists and gropers, you're wrong. It's men who think that.
The defenses I've heard make it clear that males think other males are incapable of controlling themselves and that it's natural for men to behave that way just because they're men.
I have friends who are real men who I have seen stand up against these fake men who think women are theirs to touch and claim as they see fit. These are real men.
If you think a woman can be harassed just because of how she looks, you're not a real man. If you think you are allowed to touch a woman who you do not know just because you want to, you are not a real man. If you think it's funny to joke with the boys about sexually assaulting a woman, you're not a real man.
Trevor Noah said it best on "The Daily Show" this week by giving two examples of speech, one was vulgar and the other was illegal.
It's illegal to touch someone without their consent. It's vulgar to use certain language to describe women in "locker rooms" but not illegal. It becomes illegal when you encourage someone to force themselves on another without consent. It's all about consent.
One last thought, just know that whenever you dismiss or glorify sexual assault as OK or locker room talk, there is a woman you love whose attacker you are validating. You're saying to that woman, "It's just what happens and it's a natural part of life you need to live with."
You've just lost the trust and respect of that loved one.
You're saying guys who brag about sexually assaulting women are funny which means that their victims (your loved one) are punch lines, and I'm not a punch line anymore.