It’s something that’s been in the news a great deal recently. There is an article on the humour website ‘Cracked’ which is trending 1st. It talks about consent and cultural norms surrounding it. It brought up Han Solo forcing himself on an aggressively protesting Princess Leia and by the modern day standards shocking sexual assault committed by James Bond in Goldfinger. You might think the Goldfinger scene is an exaggeration, if you’ve seen Goldfinger and remember it you know it’s as bad as it sounds, I saw it when I was pretty young, I think I paused it and told my family because it seemed so amoral and bizarre.
With Trump’s string of alleged sexual assault victims coming forward, it has led to the wider issue of sexual assault itself. Not to mention the treatment of women who come forward, the personal attacks, he said she said, or in Trump’s case as CNN journalist Jake Tapper pointed out ‘’she said she said she said she said’’ situation. Of course a narcissistic ‘’Billionaire’’ with terrible hair would offer a woman $10,000 to sleep with him. But physically assaulting someone in a club or plane, or in your daughter’s bedroom when you’re supposedly doing a business deal with them and giving them a tour (Trump allegedly really did that) is another matter entirely. Not to even mention Trump also encourages other forms of assault such as punching of protestors at his rallies. Or the seriously disturbing not so subtle hint that Hillary Clinton could be dealt with in line with the ‘’second amendment’’ (with guns).
But aside from Trump’s indefensible alleged assaults on multiple women, Consent is heavily tied in with sexual assault. The US comedian Amy Schumer has talked about how her boyfriend once sexually assaulted her when she was so intoxicated she was totally unable to give consent.
Men are taught from a young age through means such as pop culture and other men around them that to behave negatively and aggressively, with confidence in that behaviour, while also being charming, is how you essentially ‘’win women.’’ Like in a videogame where you have to mash the controls to beat the boss and complete the game. And men and women are shown in pop culture that, like Leia, if a man is charming and impressive enough that- dramatically shown in Leia’s case of physically shoving the person forcing themselves on you pre-kiss – is not abhorrent, it’s somehow acceptable.
A man who pays for dinner, opens the door for a woman and pulls her chair out for her, (something that’s a bit patronising and unnecessary) but forces himself on someone who is not actually willing but goes along with it anyway can still be considered chivalrous. The irony that the notion of chivalry comes from an age hundreds of years ago when wholesale slaughter of countless innocents was prevalent is clearly lost on those who say the cringey phrase ‘’chivalry is dead.’’ Purposefully walking ahead of someone so you can hold the door and then moving their seat for them seems slightly strange and archaic, why can’t a woman pull a man’s chair out? These practices emanate from a time when women couldn’t go outside unaccompanied, when they literally couldn’t go to dinner themselves if they wanted to. Of course politeness and basic human kindness are important for a civilised society but not under artificial and hypocritical auspices.
And anyone who doesn’t go through life with severely blurred glasses knows that there is in reality little difference between women and men despite the nonsense to the contrary that comes from all over the place, sexism/sexual assault is not just a ‘’women’s’’ issue it’s a human issue. And unlike as suggested by many members of Trump’s party who have turned against him (but many still won’t withdraw their endorsement or have even re-endorsed him) just the fact that you have a female relation has nothing to do with recognising the evils of sexual assault.
The psychological aspect is also significant. There have been studies that show that our subconscious reacts to negative and aggressive behaviour because it triggers the survival instinct. This is a familiar feeling, being uncomfortable around or even disliking certain behaviours but being drawn to them because they seem exciting.
Also sociopaths tend to use confusing behaviours and put down others while elevating themselves ala Trump, adding to the notion of the mysterious bad boy/bad girl. Leather jackets and bikes are undeniably pretty damn cool. But using psychological manipulation to make people accept a normalisation of sexual coercion or assault negates the coolness of the bad boy somewhat, to put it mildly. (To be clear Trump is obviously not mysterious or cool, but try telling his supporters that.)
These aggressive and negative behaviours apply to all forms and variations of sexual coercion/assault from all levels of society, and from female to female, to male to male.
And while noticing negative behaviours and aggression when people in clown costumes are roaming around South Carolina could come in handy. In everyday life it can arguably still be a useful tool, but it can lead people to pay more attention or accept the actions of the worst types of people and this can be very damaging.
Further the idea people living in a ‘’bubble’’ just not understanding the way things work is frankly ludicrous, assault is assault, whatever you call it. It’s not ‘’locker room talk’’ if you actually do it. And think you can get away with it because your father (Fred Trump, who as a sidenote was friendly with the KKK) left you lots of money.
The idea of certain sexual assaults being less significant because there is a ‘’grey area’’ or it was ‘’just a grope’’ is totally wrong. No means no. And in Trump’s case some of his alleged victims didn’t even have an opportunity to say no, because in an unfortunately familiar scenario he was some creepy guy who sat next to them in a club and assaulted them out of nowhere. Or like so many others he abused his position of power to get away with it, when Trump ran Miss Universe he allegedly walked in on women changing as young as 15, which he’s actually bragged about in an interview. And that’s the tip of the Titanic sized iceberg. Funny fake orange hair/skin celebrity aside, it’s still evil. And for godsake should not be America’s President.
To talk of Trump as a presidential candidate, in 1995 Trump lost 950 million, he’s had 6 bankruptcies, the Trump ‘’charity’’ mostly went towards huge $20,000 portraits of himself. Trump’s not only a despicable sexual predator he’s a plain bad businessman and would be an even worse president. Roger Ailes, Jabba the Hut lookalike, and the man who ran Fox News from the start, until very recently due to a litany of alleged sexual harassments/assaults against seemingly every woman who worked for him. Ailes masterminded several presidential election victories, but even he gave up on Trump because Trump is so unbelievably incompetent.
By Jack Ward