All week I’ve been trying to figure something out. Why do I care so much what Donald Trump told some stupid TV host years ago when he didn’t know his mike was hot? There’s the obvious fact that it simply isn’t okay to talk like that about women. But it was more than that. Heck, we already know Trump is boorish and obnoxious. But what Trump said — and how he said it — triggered something in me. And I suspect millions of women feel the same way.
There’s an old Saturday Night Live bit called “What Would It Take? It’s a game where an African American talk show host sets up a scenario for his players where President Obama does something really bad. Then, he asks: “Would this be enough for Obama to lose your support?” Every time, the players — all African American — hesitate a second, then say “Nah!” I always thought that was really funny. And I could relate to it. It would take a lot for President Obama to lose my support. But he could. If he had done any of the things Trump has done lately, he would, no matter what my political inclinations.
Talk to just about any woman of a certain age and we’ll tell you we’ve been putting up with unwanted sexual verbal attention and physical advances forever. I’ve actually joked about it, telling stories about the guy in the TV newsroom where I worked who came up behind me when I bent to tie my shoe and started humping me in front of everybody. Or the guy who used to follow me through the small factory where I worked, droning on about what he wanted to do to my body. How about the creep who put his hand down my pants while I was asleep in my dorm room and ran off when I woke up? Even my dad used to tease me when I grew breasts that I should apply for a job as a Playboy bunny. I could go on, and just about all of my friends could, too.
So here comes this bully running for president who thinks his money and his bluster is all he needs to have his way with any woman he wants. Here is a smarmy, nearly 60-year-old guy who feels he has to brag about his stardom and his conquests. And when a few women are brave enough to step forward to tell ugly stories about encounters with him, what does he do? He denies it, of course, but he also sneers at them, wanting us to believe that he wouldn’t have hit on “that.”
If you watched the town hall debate a week or so ago, you probably noticed the way Trump tried to be physically intimidating while Clinton was talking. He stood up and paced behind her, glowering, making sure he was in the camera shot. I couldn’t believe the moderators let him get away with that. But it really tells the Trump story, doesn’t it? It was either George Will or David Brooks, both republican columnists by the way, who wrote that it was like a gorilla making a show. So maybe it was good that they let him do it. It reminds us of who we’re dealing with. And maybe it will actually be us women who end up bringing Trump down. Not just one woman. But a nation of women of all political views who cannot allow a gorilla to have the presidency.