Donald Trump, Locker Room Banter Is Not An Excuse To Justify Saying You Can ‘Grab Me By My Pussy’

realdonaldtrump
realdonaldtrump

In my latest poetry book, I have a poem called “Boys Will Be Boys.” Now, it’s a fairly tame incident. In it, a boy and I get in trouble in class for doing something dumb (we cut a stand of our friend’s hair, sorry Briana!) and are sent to the principal. It’s elementary school and it’s not as if we get in big trouble. But the point of the poem is that we’re treated differently in the office. This behavior is expected of him. After all, boys will be boys. They just can’t help themselves!

But that’s not the case for me. I should have known better. I was a young lady. A girl. I don’t get to make excuses.

This ‘boys will be boys’ mentality continues as our boys age. And it gets more and more toxic. It ages with them, becomes more dangerous to women, and to them as well. This rigid idea of masculinity, of making excuses because men just can’t help themselves, hurts EVERYBODY (including men). It robs men of dimensions and makes them appear as nothing more than Neanderthals, these Things That Can’t Control What They Do. It then turns women into potential survivors who should always stay vigilant. It’s why women travel in groups, go to the bathroom together. Or why today, when I thought about going out to eat by myself (something I love to do) and a man cat-called me on my way, I decided it was better to be safe and just went home. That’s not okay.

Degrading women is not “just what boys do.”

Or, it damn sure shouldn’t be. I don’t want to hear that that’s how you talk with your buddies. Stop. Don’t do that. Degrading anyone is unacceptable.

“Locker room banter” – as Trump says – is us ALLOWING behavior to be okay. It’s us saying, “They don’t mean it!” when they absolutely do. You don’t just say things you don’t mean. There’s usually truth behind jokes. When people are speaking candidly in private, they are exposing who they really are. And what they think. That’s them at their rawest.

We have to be better than this. We have to hold our children accountable, regardless of their gender. We have to teach consent. My god, we have to teach consent.

And PLEASE don’t tell your boys, “What if it was your mother? sister? daughter?”

Instead, say, “This is a human being you are talking about.”

Rape culture starts slowly and in the smallest ways. But it grows bigger. And when we tell our boys it’s okay, we turn them into men who say things like, “Just grab ’em by the pussy.” TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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