Editorial: Blurred [Political] Lines

After tapes from 2005 surfaced of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump saying he could grab women by the pussy because he was a star, many — including some in his own party — were critical.

Other politicians and Trump supporters rose to his defense, dismissing the comments as “locker room talk.” If someone hasn’t heard “locker room talk” at some point in their life, supporters argued, they weren’t being exposed to the real world. While liberals have tended to disagree, it’s easy to see how those on the Trump Train might assume this sort of talk is normal and acceptable.

Take a look at the culture we live in; there are musicians and athletes — people with significant influence over the country’s youth — who treat women like second-hand citizens on the daily.

Chris Brown beat ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, yet he still gets over 12 million monthly listeners on his Spotify channel. Each listen is money in Brown’s pocket — so why are people continuing to financially support someone who plead guilty to assaulting a woman?

Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” — nominated for two Grammys — was 2013’s top song of the year and the seventh best-selling digital single of all time.

GQ quoted Thicke in 2013 as saying he tries to write songs about things that are taboo, like “beastiality, drug injections and everything that is completely derogatory towards women.”

“People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’” Thicke said. “I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.’”

While Thicke claims he respects women, the people who listen to his song may not understand that and think his song is the anthem for drunken club hookups.

Two different women accused Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, of sexual assault. He served a six-game suspension, but it hasn’t seemed to impact how fans view him. Thousands of people don his jersey on Sundays and cheer for him, unfazed by the allegations of the women who have spoken out against him.

Why is Donald Trump where we are deciding to draw the line? If we are okay with violence against women in other realms, don’t we deserve a presidential candidate that represents our country for what it is — unsafe and oblivious?

Trump’s “locker room talk” is in the Top 40 and warming up to play on Sunday. It’s great that people are taking a stand against Trump, but if we as a country expect equal treatment of men and women, we need to start demanding respect from all high-profile figures, not just our presidential candidates.

The editorial board that writes editorials consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the copy editor, and the news editor. These opinion pieces are written separately from news articles. They draw on the opinions of the entire writing staff and do not reflect the opinions of any individual staff member. The Jambar’s business manager and non-writing staff do not contribute to editorials, and the advisor does not have final approval.