Locker Room Talk

locker-room

Much has been made of the Donald Trump/Billy Bush video that was released a week ago.  The content was offensive, insensitive, disgusting and a warehouse full of wrong that the Trump campaign downplayed as “locker room talk.”

Let me be clear that the conversion does show the kind of person Donald Trump is when he thinks the microphone isn’t on.  He’s not the first guy ever to think he’s God’s gift to women, that because of his “celebrity” that he’s entitled to grope females where ever and whenever he wants. And for some reason, these are the kinds of guys who are drawn to politics. Great.

Today, of course, we live in an enlightened age where we all know it’s abhorrent and unacceptable behavior and you wouldn’t dare say anything like that within earshot of an electronic device that could record it. But remember, this was from back in 2005, when there were still quite a few remnants of the Good Old Boys’ club running around. Donald Trump is 70. He spent most of his life being a character from “Mad Men.”  Again, none of this makes it acceptable, but in Donald’s world, he has justified it as one of the benefits of celebrity.

So, to recap–what Trump said and his attitude displayed in the Access Hollywood tape, not surprising. What IS surprising is the rush to the front of the morality line, saying that “guys don’t talk like that in locker rooms.”  NFL players have stepped forward to boast, “We don’t talk like that!”  Radio talk show hosts go on and on how the locker rooms they’ve been in are closer to churches.

That may be true in most of today’s PC locker rooms, but my early life experience taught me differently. Not all locker rooms conversations exhibit the lowest form of humanity, but there’s always “that guy.” The insecure, I- insist-on-telling-you-how-I’m-a-sex-machine pervert that has to talk in a sexist, demeaning way about women.  Let’s say it happens in .0001% of the conversations that occur in the locker room, but they do happen. Sometimes, not even in locker rooms.

Back when I was around 12, my mom used to occasionally give me money to run down the street to the meat store. Yes, back then, there was a 7-11 size store not far from our house where they sold nothing but meat. I would go there with my hand-written list, purchase our carnivorous delights and being a kid, they’d give me a free hot dog to munch on (yes, uncooked) on my walk home.

One busy Saturday, I had to take a number and wait in line. While I was standing there, the guy in front of me turned around to inform that he had gotten two women pregnant at the same time. Can you imagine that? Ha-ha-ha, two women!! I most likely gave him a Billy Bush nervous chuckle and continued waiting in line, all the time wondering, “Why would he do that? That wasn’t very nice.”

Looking back, I wonder why anyone would feel the need to share that with a 12-year-old boy? Mind boggling. And for those of you wondering, this was in California, so it couldn’t have been Donald.

The other locker room talk incident that came to mind was back in my high school basketball-playing days.  All my teammates were in the locker room with assorted conversations taking place, as they always did. But this time, one of the players decided to let me know he had “done it” with my girlfriend’s younger sister, describing her breasts and ranking her sexual performance. (Cue the Billy Bush nervous laugh)

Ladies and gentlemen, that is locker room talk.  Both of those incidents occurred 40+ years ago, but that would put them smack dab in Donald Trump’s life experience time frame.  The difference in our stories is that I was the one listening, he was the one doing the talking.

To those who say that locker room talk that is demeaning to women doesn’t exist is along the lines of saying, “Well, that’s the last of racism in the south!” I’d like to believe we are evolving as humans and learning just a little bit more each day about treating each other with respect. But there are still some of “those guys” running around.

In the case of the Trump incident, Donald was trying to show off to Billy Bush and being a sexist braggart. Billy, having a chance to interview the millionaire, played along, laughing at each disgusting remark, feeding Donald’s ego. He just wanted the interview.

Now, the trendy thing is for people to say, “Oh, yeah, guys don’t really talk like that in locker rooms. Or, at least, not in MY locker rooms.” (insert Billy Bush laugh here) If you believe that, do let me know what color the unicorns are in your world.

Go ahead and use the Access Hollywood video to decide who you vote for president or not. I’ve known for a while who I can’t vote for. It’s been like sitting in the dentist chair, waiting for the Novocain to kick in so the drilling can start. Maybe the solution is as simple as building a huge wall around the locker room.

Can we just get this thing over with?

Tim Hunter

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