A few days before the second presidential debate in 2016, The WASHINGTON POST published a video and article featuring a rather disgusting conversation about women between Donald Trump and television host, Billy Bush. In that infamous ‘old boys talk,’ Trump described his interest in a married woman, then waxed lewd about kissing another woman that he and Bush were about to meet. Said the Donald, “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything . . .Grab em by the P****. You can do anything.” Sigh! Talk about Neanderthal man! In this supposed modern age of enlightenment, here was a presidential candidate, in the most advanced and enlightened country in the world, proposing what amounted to an assault, a sexual assault of a woman.
Sadly, the American electorate ignored this pathetic predilection in Donald Trump and elected him, much to their deep disappointment. Of course, we are happy to report that the American electorate came to its senses and rejected him and his kind in last year’s election.
Time was when ‘ol boys’ could get together and speak in the most vulgar and despicable terms about women. Men used to whistle at women, and eyeball them, and crack crude and sexually explicit jokes about them. They leered at female colleagues and paid them lecherous and unwanted compliments. They came on to women in overbearing and tasteless ways. But that was many generations ago. Women are no longer abiding that type of boorish behavior. They are calling it out, and denouncing it in the strongest possible terms. (see the #MeToo Movement in America). That type of behavior is tantamount to an assault, and men are eschewing it. In this 21st century, there is just no room for sexual discussions about women’s bodies and the sort, even in jest.
That some in high places here in our fair State can condone, or make excuses for, or in some silly way attempt to justify this recent and abhorrent verbal assault on our senses and sensibilities is rather disturbing. Is there no thought that perhaps some in high places have gone too far with misogynistic jokes and sexual innuendos? Is there no thought that these idle words can encourage assaults on our women? Is there no thought that we have sisters and daughters and nieces and aunts and mothers who could be sexually harassed or assaulted by men with this warped sort of thinking?
And whatever happened to the churches and the Biblical teaching of respect for women? Where are the voices of the church leaders? We understand that the good pastor at the St. George’s parish church spoke out this past Sunday with righteous indignation at the unseemly behavior of some in high places. Good for him! And he made it a point to say that he is not afraid; that he has a wife, and parishioners who are women. A number of other church leaders have spoken out. But would to the high heavens that more preachers would speak up. And whatever happened to those many bodies here in our fair State that tout their stance against a culture of rape and violence against women? Why are they silent? Mercifully, the women’s arm of the United Progressive Party (UPP) denounced the joking and jestering about ‘young women’ in the strongest possible terms. As has the political leader of the party, Mr. Harold Lovell. They are leaving no doubt as to their conviction that this sort of behavior has no place in polite company, never mind our wider society.
But whatever happened to the women’s arm of the ruling Antigua Barbuda Labour Party? Whatever happened to the respected voices of the leader in the Senate? And other ranking women? And the ministers of government? And other civic leaders? Is there no outrage? No opprobrium? Do these people simply, much like sheep, follow? Sigh!
They are mostly silent. Is that consent . . . for misfits and predators to . . . uh . . . ‘grab ‘em’?
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