Carnes: Deciphering president’s comments about women (column)
October 8, 2018
That was kind of harsh to say to a female journalist, don't you think?
"I say that it's a very scary time for young men in America," President Donald Trump said.
Doesn't answer my question, but OK, I assume he's referring to men accused of sexual assault?
"You can be guilty of something that you may or may not be guilty of."
Brilliant analysis. I gather he means white men older than 50 with questionable wealth are under siege, but why does he think it's the fault of women?
"Women are very special."
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Taken in the proper context, that's a nice thing to say, and sure, plenty of minorities, especially black men, end up shot or in prison for crimes they didn't commit as well, but what does gender have to do with guilt or innocence?
"If you can be an exemplary person for 35 years and then somebody comes and they say you did this or that … it's a very scary situation where you're guilty until you're proven innocent."
Again, that doesn't answer my question, and I agree when it comes to the court of public opinion, but that's why we have a system of due process. Victims have a right to be heard, but that doesn't mean a right to be believed, hence due process.
"It is a dangerous world out there. It's scary, like Vietnam. … It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier."
An odd analogy, but sure. How about his own family? Doesn't he worry about them, especially his daughters?
"She's got the best body."
Whoa-whoa, tone it down there a little.
"If she weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."
Hey now, come on, this is a serious subject. Show some parental, not to mention presidential, restraint.
"I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (cute little kitty cat). You can do anything."
How about women on the Supreme Court, such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
"What does she weigh? Sixty pounds? Her mind is shot."
And Justice Sonia Sotomayor?
"Her health, no good. Diabetes."
Listen, we're not getting anywhere with this.
"All of the women on 'The Apprentice' flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected."
Stop it! Talk about presidential alerts — anyway, can we just admit it's a scary time for all men who have sexually assaulted someone in the past, and that they need to be a real man and own up to their mistakes when accused?
"Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK."
Well you should expect it. This jock culture in glass houses needs to evolve, as I'm pretty sure there's no time limit on sexual assault memories. They are always in the present until they have actual closure. Recent events confirm this is a scary time for all women, regardless of age.
"I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve …"
There you go. Nice.
"Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that?"
Jeez, just please stop.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.