Trumped-Up Masculinity

 These words are from a contributor, copied with permission:
I follow Donald Trump’s Facebook page; I have since the beginning of this race. Today Donald Trump released his formal apology and I had the opportunity to read it. As to be expected, his die hard supporters are unwavering in their faith in their candidate’s ability to lead. I expected all the “he may have said bad things, but he is still better than Hillary” comments. However, what I never expected was to read how very many of his supporters (men and women) have an incredibly barbaric perception of men.
“Boys will be Boys” “Men will be Men” These generalizing statements about what it means to be a man are unfair and insulting to all men who value women. If my husband, or my son, or my father, or my grandfather spoke this way toward other women I would be horrified. If I thought the men I loved talked this way about women in private, I would be horrified. And if any of the men I loved spoke this way around me, I would be hurt and scared for my safety.
This idea that men are barbaric pigs with uncontrollable urges isn’t new. We have been told that men cannot control themselves against raping a woman if they are too attracted to her. We even use insanely pejorative terms for them like “man cave”; a place where men can get rowdy and act like cave men. But in our hearts, we know better. We have brothers, and fathers, and sons, and husbands and we hold them to a higher standard than what Donald Trump has set as the bar for “men” tonight.
It is not acceptable, nor chromosomal, to discuss using your position of power to kiss someone or grab their vagina; “I don’t even wait”. What is that implication? He isn’t going to wait? For what? For the woman’s consent? For his wife’s permission? For the opportunity to get to know the woman beyond the assessment you and Billy Bush just made of her dress and legs?! What aren’t you waiting for, Donald Trump?
To the men in my life: Does Donald Trump’s behavior define your masculinity? Is the thing that makes you a man your ability to control any beautiful woman who walks across your path? No. I know all of the men I’m friends with on Facebook, and I know that each of you are better than this. I know this because you are all special to me in one way or another. I know this because you are my friends and and my family, and I have trusted you to never treat me, or my friends, or my future daughters the way Donald Trump treats women. I love and trust you all.
No matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican; Pro-Choice or Pro-Life; a Hillary supporter; a Stein supporter; a Johnson supporter; or a Trump supporter, I am speaking to you. Please do not settle and submit to the idea that Donald Trump’s behavior in any way defines what masculinity is or how it should be. As a human, beyond all the titles, I am horrified by Donald Trump’s behavior in that video; and I believe if we put away all the titles, we are all horrified. I am more horrified because this behavior substantiates so many harassment, assault, and rape charges against Mr. Trump over the many decades he has held power.
Men deserve better than to be generalized to a group of uninhibited rapists. And women deserve better than to be objectified and sexually assaulted. And we all deserve better than Donald J. Trump.

Audrey Lynn Brill, Social Worker, Wife, Daughter, Niece, Granddaughter, Sister, Friend

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