Emily Crockett at Vox on Trump and rape culture.

The Washington Post’s headline describes Trump’s comments as “extremely lewd.” But they’re a lot worse than that.

This may or may not actually be typical “locker room banter” for some men. But one thing is clear: It’s an explicit description of sexual assault.

Whether or not Trump is bragging for effect or machismo, he is saying that he thinks it’s no big deal to grab or kiss a woman in a sexual manner — either by moving too fast for her to consent or resist or by exploiting his power until “they let you do it.”

It is sexual assault to “just start kissing” a woman, much less “grab” her “pussy,” and not “even wait” — in other words, to act without warning or consent.

It is sexual assault to exploit your power over a woman for the purpose of sexual favors.

This isn’t a joke. This isn’t even just a much worse version of the usual sleaze or insults that we’re used to on Trump and women. This is serious.

It is, but so are insults. Insults aren’t “a joke” either. Trump isn’t just joshing around when he calls one woman a fat pig or talks about another bleeding from her wherever. He’s expressing contempt and hatred, to a vast audience. That shit is serious. Hatred and contempt are contagious. We’re already saturated with hatred and contempt for women; Trump’s adding to it is no joke and no trivia.

It’s serious because this kind of cavalier treatment of sexual assault is the definition of rape culture. When men see sexual assault as a punchline, or even something to brag about, they take it less seriously when they see or hear about it happening, and they take women less seriously who talk about it.

Yes, and hatred and contempt play into that too.

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