Rape Culture and Donald Trump 

Unless you’re lived under a rock for the past year you’ll be well aware that business tycoon Donald Trump is running for President of the United States as the Republican nominee. You’ll be aware that he’s made some high-profile comments across a range of topics, including controversial remarks about building walls to keep out Mexicans and banning Muslims from entering America. His bigotry has been on display from day one, yet his party has, more or less, stuck with him (partly because they had no other choice), tolerating his remarks. However, once the topic shifted to white America, everything changed (and this highlights the hypocrisy of the GOP). Suddenly his comments weren’t tolerable. Republicans have been lining up to condemn his statements about women – though there is hypocrisy within hypocrisy here, for Trump has been saying sexist things for years. I guess a critical mass of misogyny has to be reached before Republicans can take action. Makes me think of this picture actually:

Hopefully you see what I’m getting at. 

So Trump has tried to dismiss his latest comments as ‘locker room’ talk. Unfortunately this ‘banter’, especially from someone as high-profile as he, carries influence. It creates the idea that grabbing at women as though they are objects is perfectly acceptable, even more so if you’re rich. 

There is opposition to this. The marvellous George Takei had this to say on Twitter:

He is spot on. This is a real problem and not one to be ignored. It’s why feminism remains relevant in western society. Yes, there are other parts of the world where women suffer more. Not going to deny that. This doesn’t mean women don’t face ongoing problems here in the UK, or in the USA, or across Europe. What I’d like to present now is a group of comments made to George Takei on Facebook, regarding this very matter:

 

Are you suitably incensed? I haven’t yet my voice to the chorus of those who have condemned Roger’s attitude, but the sorry state of affairs here is that Roger no more cares about the plight of women in Africa or Asia than he does those in the US. He simply wants to silence discussion on the problems women face in the West. By trivialising them, he hopes to marginalise them. 

Here’s the thing. We have to start with our immediate sphere of influence. Yes, the problems faced by women in some parts of the world are worse than those faced by women in other parts of the world. However, for a woman in the UK to tackle problems faced by a woman in Africa is going to beyond them whilst facing their own problems. We shouldn’t be telling people ‘your problems don’t matter because of X’. That isn’t helpful. Let’s start by affecting our sphere of influence. 

5 comments

  1. I was surprised that the Republicans actually give a damn about women, that enough of them actually understand that what Trump describes is sexual abuse. You’re very right, about the Republicans’ delayed reaction to Trump and that this Roger person is perpetuating rape culture in his own twisted way. You know you’re in a rape culture when you expect to see and hear people make these insensitive arguments and also completely miss the point of what’s wrong, hence people denying and minimizing rape culture in first world countries and sharing a Facebook meme that perceives the problem as outrage over the word “pussy” and other “lewd” language and then compares that to the enormous popularity of 50 Shades of Grey among American women. Rape culture is worse in some areas, but it exists everywhere still and it continues to harm. All harm matters. If I, as a white privileged person, were to go up to a woman who was gang-raped multiple times in Sudan and tell her what I’ve been through (13 years of abuse by a family member, abusive relationship for 3 years, and more), I imagine she would be empathetic, not lash out about how easy I’ve had it. People like Roger are not really representing.

    Also, rape culture is not just about female victims. There are many male victims as well and rape culture dictates to them that nothing bad happened to them, they should like it, they’re weak or gay if it did happen, they can’t tell anyone, etc. Is someone like Roger going to deny that male victims exist? Is he going to say that they only exist in third-world countries?

    1. Thank you for your comment. I completely agree. This is why feminism remains important, even in Western society, and it’s important for men too. It will help us to shake off ideas like ‘boys shouldn’t cry’.

      Most importantly, it’s a drive toward equal opportunities. Freedom from fear.

  2. Can you please put this in the Coalition?? I can’t reblog or press it from your site and I want to share it everywhere! If that’s okay!? I love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *