With a woman running to become our first female president, you would think that this would be a sign of social advancement and a maturing of our national politics and an it’s-about-time acceptance of the rightful and equal place for women in all aspects of our society. But, no.
Donald Trump’s celebrating of his celebrity and how this has allowed him to get away with grabbing and groping women — that is, committing sexual assault — reminds us that we still have a long way to go.
Mr. Trump has been properly chastised for his statements and for his defense that his recorded comments to Billy Bush of Access Hollywood was just so much “locker room talk.” Many athletes, too, have stepped forward to repudiate the suggestion that this kind of talk actually goes on in locker rooms.
But, no again. Now we know, sadly, that “locker room talk” still is a very serious problem.
Harvard University just announced the mens’ soccer season has been canceled due to team members creating “scouting reports” on the womens’ soccer team players.
Now when we think of a scouting report, we think of assessments of players’ abilities on the field. Someone rating them compared to other players and the needs of the team. However, that’s not what the Harvard mens’ team was doing.
Instead of looking at speed and agility, the men were grading attributes like appearance and sex appeal.
The women of the Harvard team took it in stride and responded to the incident by saying:
“The sad reality is that we have come to expect this kind of behavior from so many men, that it is so ‘normal’ to us we often decide it is not worth our time or effort to dwell on,” they wrote.
“In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this.”
Luckily for the mens’ team these are strong women. Women who do not need the approval of some college kids to know their worth. But, it does continue to add to this strange time. A time where kindness and respect and civility have been thrown over in favor of cruelty and mean-spiritedness.
Hopefully, no matter who wins this election, we can get back on track. We need to continue to make the advancements we have been working so hard to achieve as a society. And hopefully we can learn from the exposing of these chauvinist and sexist attitudes whether on the political stump and in the locker rooms of our country.