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Column: Trump’s comments are nothing new

Emma Scott, News Editor

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On Friday evening, a tape was released by the Washington Post containing audio of the Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005.

Since the release of the tapes, well-known Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and Trump’s own running mate Governor Mike Pence have publicly denounced Trump’s comments. Some Republicans have completely withdrawn their endorsements, others have called for a new nominee, many have conveyed disagreement but still plan to vote for Trump, and a few have openly defended his words.

While I am pleased to see big name Republicans voicing disapproval for Trump’s choice words, I keep asking myself, why now? After all of the unjustifiable actions and words Trump has expressed, why are people just now condemning him?

Trump’s collection of offensive comments date back at least to the ‘90s and up to this year, yet we have just now seen a surge of Republicans try to distance themselves from Trump.

Still, even after the leaked tapes, loyal followers are coming to Trump’s defense by supporting his statement, describing the tapes as “locker room talk.”

This idea of “locker room talk” follows the same concept as the phrase “boys will be boys,” an expression used to excuse bad behavior of, typically, young men. Though, in this case, it was not a young man saying something because he did not know better. It was a 59-year-old man who consciously made a comment referring to sexual assault.

When I hear of male peers, male supporters of Trump, or male public officials, such as Ben Carson, defending Trump’s comments, I can’t help but feel weary of these men. I feel weary of these men and how they have treated women in the past and how they will treat women in the future. I feel weary of these men and how much respect they actually hold for women.

When I hear of female peers or female supporters of Trump openly defending his comments, I can’t help but feel worry for these women. I worry they do not understand the significance of the remarks, or they refuse to see it. I worry they do not see the worth of themselves and other fellow women.

Do these students I grew up with, these people I have never met, and these figures in the spotlight, really believe it to be natural and acceptable to demean women? I also wonder, if audio was released of a well-known Democrat, such as President Barack Obama, making vulgar comments supporting sexual assault, would these people still come to his defense and provide the same support they’ve shown to Trump? Something tells me that is highly unlikely.

The lewd comments from the tape are certainly not the first offensive remarks Trump has made against women, and most likely, are not going to be the last. For now, we can only hope that once this election is over, we can go back to the decorum politicians possessed before the Trump-era.

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Column: Trump’s comments are nothing new