I spent a while talking to Kevin last night about the news coverage of Trump’s language. Those words, coming out of a presidential candidate’s mouth, reminded me, yet again, how many men across America do share Trump’s attitudes. How many men see women primarily as a collection of body parts they would like to possess, without worrying about consent. How many men would ‘grab some pussy’ without hesitation, if they thought they could get away with it. It was upsetting to read, upsetting to hear.
But here’s the thing — language like that *should* be upsetting. It doesn’t do us any favors to pretend these misogynist attitudes aren’t intense and widespread. Americans shouldn’t be shielded from the truth of Trump’s attitudes, and the attitudes of many of the men supporting him, just as we shouldn’t be shielded from the visceral truths of the brutality and deaths overseas that our own policies (and drone bombings) have contributed to.
I am saddened for any who were upset, and perhaps even triggered and re-traumatized, by the language repeated by the news media. But I absolutely think they did right to repeat it. Using the words, the actual words and not some edited version of them — it has a different force. In this critical a time, with America’s election a month away, the stakes are just too high.
I don’t think we can afford to pussyfoot around.