5 Lessons The 2016 Election Teaches Us About Sexual Assault
At this point, there's no denying that Donald Trump is the villain of every '90s workplace harassment video. Along with 11 sexual assault allegations so far, the man has flat-out bragged about using his powerful position to attack women. He's the icon of every corrupt pervy authority figure, as evidenced by the thousands of women who have been inspired to come out with their own stories of harassment.
For some people, this is the single most important discussion of this election. Not because it specifically exposes The Donald, but because it sheds important light on the mindfucking culture which allows the bad deeds of "important" people to go unnoticed for decades. Because much like a lot of things with his name on it, Trump doesn't actually own this scum pond. He's just one more turd leeching on a system designed to favor the powerful and grabby ...
The Idea That Men Are Powerless Around Women Is Used To Excuse Terrible Behavior
Hey, remember the ending of King Kong? After kidnapping a tiny lady, Mr. Monkey Huge meets his demise with gravity-induced blunt force trauma. And once the blood and dust clear, the film profoundly concludes that "beauty killed the beast."
"Bullets fired from planes and plummeting from the world's tallest building may have also played a small part."
Well, I have to respectfully disagree, because having looked at all the data, it sure seems like that whole dickhead kidnapping rampage is what killed the beast. But this insane "bewitched by beauty" trope can be found in countless movies and TV shows. It's ingrained in our understanding of masculine figures that some dudes can't help themselves around women. Or as Donald Trump puts it, "I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them."
And so this insulting idea that a guy is a slave to his own stark-raving dick comes up in countless rape, harassment, and scandal defenses by men desperate to pass the blame of their actions. Jared Fogle wasn't a predator; he was suffering "hypersexuality from weight loss." Multiple less-famous rape defenses have even equated women's genitals with Venus flytraps and men-luring spiders.
"It's exactly like this documentary I saw!"
Lady junk is apparently a vortex sucking all penises in the vicinity toward it ... which must be why some lawmakers assumed they have a built-in defense system to roadblock the onslaught. Because if there were ever a theme to everything you're about to read, it's that men are baby idiots and women are 100-percent responsible when it comes to sex. And when you live in that fantasy, it seems the logical conclusion is that the real villains of misconduct are the knucklebrains who decided that men and women can mingle professionally.
Note the upper-right corner, repeat.
After all, if you threw a turkey into a wolf den, you wouldn't expect it to not get eaten. So you can't expect a lady to go wandering into some cigar-smoke-filled army cock parlor and not get the vapors over the rugged advances and lumberjack language. At least, in Trump's mind. Because according to his defenders, this isn't really about harassment, but simply how some women can't handle guy talk ...
Harassment Is Written Off As "Men's Club" Vulgarity
Once news broke of Trump's leaked pussy-grabbing audio, even those condemning him described his comments as "lewd" or "graphic," and not the assault confessionals that they were. People rushing to his defense used things like Fifty Shades Of Grey and Beyonce lyrics as examples of obscenity "double standards," completely incognizant of how goofball those comparisons were.
But people weren't clutching pearls because of the word "pussy." It was the succession of words immediately before that one, in which Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women. It happens all the time. A comedian like Daniel Tosh "jokes" that a heckler should be gang-raped, and people confuse the offense as being "triggered" by "edgy" words. And the historical way this has been handled was to establish "Gentlemen's Clubs," where refined men could socialize and do man business separate from the easily outraged (female) public.
And amazingly, this still works. Companies like Goldman Sachs have continued to wade through hot water over business events being held at strip clubs. The reasoning? Nude and attractive women are an easy tool for establishing dominance in business agreements. You may recognize this as the same "alpha male" defense some have used to excuse his Trump's comments.
I remember the first time I heard this "locker room," "alpha male" boasting between guys. When I was in fifth grade, I told the grey-haired owner of the general store that I had a crush on a girl in my class. His response was to ask me if she had "big tits" and ape groping motions like a rapey mime. You know, guys being guys and in no way creepy or predatory.
That is horseshit.
The idea that men have to socialize by the rules of a secret masculine hierarchy and change their actions and words around the opposite sex is not only unscientific gibberish, but also wildly misguided toward both sexes. It mistakenly forces men to think that predatory language is somehow "guy talk," while giving sexual criminals a convenient den to hide in. A man like Jerry Sandusky was able to do unspeakable things to children because the culture he lurked in discouraged people from speaking out.
And this is the worst-case version. The best still socially reduces an entire gender to treehouse rules ...
Men Are Treated Like Little Boys, But Girls Are Treated Like Women
When finally forced to address this subject, Melania Trump excused her 70-year-old husband's assault claims as being "boy talk" which he was "egged" into by Billy Bush, the William Baldwin of the Bush family. Because as everyone knows, no matter how much power, experience, or money a man has, deep down, he is nothing but a puerile baby with big legs, throwing sand on the playground and occasionally raping people.
Rapists will be rapists.
As someone who has never been the victim of any kind of assault, I can't possibly imagine the emotional intensity this sentiment must induce in those who have. The mere fact that it exists in tangent with my proud gender makes me want to punch a horse. It's wrong on so many different levels, from the semantics of associating all "boys" with being crude criminals to the hypocrisy of getting the credit of a "powerful man" but the accountability of a "scared little boy." If Trump wants us to think his assault boasts are the result of peer pressure, he can't then turn around and tell us he's fit to run the fucking country. You don't get both, you rusty wang.
But what graduates the "men are little boys" excuse into full-blown insanity is how these cases often treat actual little girls in the exact opposite way, associating them with a Lolita-like sexual maturity.
That's right. The judge basically called her the sexual predator.
While probably having existed forever, you might recognize this extravagant bullshit as the best hits of the '60s and '70s, back when famous movie directors like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen were both privately and artistically sexualizing young girls as if they were sophisticated adults.
So to recap: Grown men are childlike simpletons who can be talked into anything, while actual fucking teenage girls are mature cougars fully in control of their sexuality. And so the solution is clearly to remove women from professional situations in which they might hijack these hapless men with their mesmeric labia, ruining their professional careers in a blind fit of rape. And while the culture of cognitive dissonance is already staggering, it gets stranger when we somehow blame it all on the wrong goddamn culture ...
Rock Star And Party Culture Are Used As Smokescreens For Terrible Actions
When Brock Turner was on trial for rape, his lawyers went with the "don't hate the player" defense, pointing to "party culture" as the real culprit. The argument here is that Turner was so swept up in the rock star booze-and-pussy swim team lifestyle that he lost control of himself like a blow-addled Tony Montana. It wasn't the rapist, but rather the culture of power which allowed him to rape. When the Navy struggled with a booze and diversity problem, a former Navy Secretary complained that they were sacrificing an "invaluable" "swagger" to be more politically correct. Because much like swimming in laps, you can't fight for our country and not act like a booze tool.
See, everyone? It's the nature of the environment. And so by this logic, the real heroes are the Donald Trumps of the world, so vividly pointing out that "when you're a star ... You can do anything."
The argument here is that when a woman gets "dolled up" and enters a "rock and roll party culture," she shouldn't be surprised to wake up behind some rock and roll party dumpster. "When in Rome, if everyone in Rome raped people," as they say. And by making this "party" or "sexy" or "masculine" culture unavoidable, the blame can be conveniently pinned on the victim for "not being able to handle it." This was also similar to how Mike Tyson attempted to combat his rape charges, arguing that the victim was mature beyond her years and was well aware of his intentions before going to his room. And boy, was he not the only one echoing that sentiment at the time ...
Because if you're partying with a rock star, you naturally should be prepared to fuck that rock star too, right? It's the culture of being a celebrity, which is why all of America has collectively chosen to ignore that time David Bowie had sex with a fucking 14-year-old girl. The Thin White Duke committed Thin White statutory rape, and there's no getting around that. You can try to tell yourself that it's the exception -- that we'd all fuck Bowie when we were 14, that maybe this time it was a misunderstanding and the girl really was mature-looking for her age, or that Bowie was on too many drugs to notice. But no matter what the excuse you tell yourself, you're still stuck making all the same excuses that everyone always makes.
Because in order to truly have a society that condemns this behavior, there has to be no picking favorites ...
It's Insane How Quickly People Look The Other Way For Their Beliefs
Hey, Bill Clinton is possibly a rapist. Best-case scenario, he's sexually assaulted multiple women. If this sounds familiar, it's because you've been hearing this nonstop from Trump supporters (as well as on Cracked). Does this make you more likely to vote Trump, who also is possibly a rapist? Chances are it's no. Not only because Bill isn't the one running, but also because it's way easier to ignore sexual assault allegations when the accused has Santa-level charisma.
That's why it took like 50 goddamn women coming forward before we paid attention to Bill Cosby, and why you probably don't even realize that similar allegations have been made about both Louis C.K. and Bill Murray -- the latter having allegedly committed spousal abuse.
Words can't describe how hard it is to speak ill of this man.
Are the allegations true? I have no idea ... and there's a part of me that doesn't want to know. I'm willing to ignore a horrible crime because I like the person accused of it. Just like how half of the GOP are doing mental cartwheels over Trump's assault allegations.
But while these headlines sound like the rock bottom of humanity, we're all capable of justifying awfulness for the sake of our "teams." And for a lot of powerful predators, latching yourself onto a political ideal or pop culture staple is a quick way to build an army of deniers. It's the biggest defense a powerful and guilty person has: that they are somehow too entrenched, too load-bearing, too beloved to fail. They're betting that our morality in the face of irrefutable evidence is weaker than our fandom and idealism. Because no one wants to think that something they love was put there by a monster ... even though there's no reason degenerate monsters can't make cool things. Otherwise, we wouldn't have Michael Bay's entire filmography.
Sarcastically ask who David is voting for on his Twitter!
You know all those facts you've learned about psychology from movies and that one guy at the party who says, "Actually ..." a lot? Please forget them. Chances are none of them are true. Take the Stanford Prison Experiment, the one famous psychology study people can name. It was complete bullshit. Funny story actually, it turns out that when you post flyers that say, "Hey, do you wanna be a prison guard for the weekend? Free food and nightsticks," you might not get the most stable group of young men. So join Jack O'Brien, Cracked staff members Dan O'Brien and Michael Swaim, and Psychology Professor Martie G. Haselton of UCLA as they debunk Rorschach tests, the Mozart effec,t and middle child syndrome, so soon you can be that person at the party who says, "Actually ..." Get your tickets here!
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