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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Trump Super Predator behavior is Workplace Sexual Harassment writ large

Michelle Obama is absolutely right that Donald Trump's claims that his bragging about sexual assault amounted to "locker room talk" was an attack on men and well as women because most men don't talk that way. Athletes felted particular offended. LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers called Trump's remarks "trash talk" and said:
What is locker room talk to me? It’s not what that guy said. We don’t disrespect women in no shape or fashion in our locker room. That never comes up. Obviously, I got a mother-in-law, a wife, a mom and a daughter and those conversations just don’t go on in our locker room.

Coming up with her own version of "locker room talk," Melania Trump does a great disservice to both women and boys when she excuses his bragging about sexual assault as just "boy talk." I heard her tell this to Anderson Cooper on CNN about the time kids get out of school. I thought of the damage this could do to an adolescent boy trying to navigate complicated relationships with the opposite sex. How do you approach girls? What's proper and what's not okay? And he hears this beautiful woman, and potential First Lady, tell him that grabbing girls pussies is quite ordinary, just "boy talk." This "excuse" is very harmful and should be widely condemned. Young men growing up and paying attention to a presidential election for the first time, as I did in 1964 at the age of 16, must be told, in no uncertain terms, that what Donald Trump bragged about doing, and in now being widely belittled or denied by his surrogates, is sexual assault, morally repugnant and criminal.

On the other hand, Michelle Obama's speech was excellent. It didn't mention Trump by name and it soared above petty politics to make some very important points about this episode. I highly recommend you catch it if you haven't yet.

But there is one important point that Michelle Obama missed and I have yet to hear said by all the pundits discussing this: What Donald Trump has been doing for years should be viewed through the prism of workplace sexual harassment and violence. He has been aggressively sexually assaulting women, and not only has he gotten away with it for years, he has gotten away with bragging about it for years. He has been able to do this because he was the actual, virtual, or possible future employer of these women. Or simply because he was a big shot in the world they had to make it in. With his power and connections, they knew that he didn't have to be their direct employer to get them fired, and they knew he loves to fire people. This is what workplace sexual harassment looks like in the age of the independent contractor. The short story is that he could grab women by their pussies and get away with it because he was a capitalist in a class based society.

Donald Trump's accusers
The New York Times has reported that nearly 1 in 5 women in the US have been sexually assaulted. That doesn't mean that 20% of men in the US have commented sexual assault - far from it. The vast majority of these sexual assaults have been committed by a handful of sexual predators. Men like Donald Trump. As this does to press, 10 women have already come forward to charge Trump with sexual assault and word on the street is that the media has been talking to many more not yet willing to go public. It would not be surprising to learn that someone like Donald Trump has victimized hundreds of women over the past 30 years.

Not only would few men brag about sexually assaulting women, most men couldn't get away with it for long without being called on it and sent to jail for it. Very few women would put up with such behavior from a man that had no particular leverage over her, and even in cases where Trump didn't have direct power,  such as Jessica Leeds, who says Trump molested her in the first-class cabin on a flight to New York, they knew he was a powerful and vindictive person willing to resort to any lie to discredit them.

Leeds, certainly found that out the hard way this week even though it took her 36 years to go public. No sooner than she told her story to the media, than Trump and his surrogates were on that same media calling her a liar. Their proof? She said Trump raised the armrest between them and they said that was impossible because armrests couldn't be raised in 1st class. This was a lie made up on the fly. Armrests did raise in 1st class in the Braniff 727 Leeds shared with Trump. Once a CNN Money reporter did the legwork to find the facts they quietly dropped that line of attack but they are still doing everything they can to destroy her.

Donald Trump owns beauty contests for the same reason pedofiles run Boy Scout troops, it is a way to use his wealth to give him access to young women. Miss Washington USA 2013 Cassandra Searles told Rolling Stone how he “lined up [contestants] so he could get a closer look at his property.” Paromita Mitra of Mississippi said she saw this too. Searles also claims, in a facebook post, Trump grabbed her ass and invited her back to his hotel room.
Donald Trump owns beauty contests for the same reason pedofiles run Boy Scout troops.
Former Miss USA contestant Temple Taggart McDowell says Trump kissed her on the lips twice without her consent when she was 21, and four women in the 1997 Miss Teen USA beauty pageant have said Trump would walk into the contestants dressing room while they were changing. He bragged about this practice on the Howard Stern show in 2005 saying “Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it.” He is clearly aware that his misogynistic practices are enabled by his ownership of capital. He called Alicia Machado, Trump's Miss Universe 1996, who is Venezuelan, "Miss Housekeeping," and when she gained weight, "Miss Piggy." Then he tried to slut-shame her in a series of 5 AM tweets. When Kamie Crawford, who is black, won Miss Teen USA in 2010, she was told prior to meeting him "Mr. Trump doesn't like black people. So don't take it the wrong way if he isn't extremely welcoming towards you. If he is, then u just must be the "type" of black he likes."

Although none of the women that have come forward so far worked directly for Trump, their employment contracts probably prohibit it. Most were in positions that made them vulnerable to Trump's power. Rachel Crooks was a receptionist at Trump Tower in 2005 when she says Trump assaulted her in a tower elevator. She didn't work for Trump directly but for a real estate company in the building. Natasha Stoynoff said Trump forced himself on her in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. She worked for People magazine, which certainly would have wanted to maintain access to The Donald. Mindy McGillivray was groped 2 years earlier at the same club as she was assisting a friend, the official club photographer. Cathy Heller was molested by Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 1997. Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant, was hoping to get a job from Trump when he molested her. Jill Harth was beauty pageant producer that says Trump tried to rape her in his daughter's bedroom.

And so it goes in the Trump Towers. He is the Super Predator and every women in his domain is fair game. Trump's behavior reflects more than simple male chauvinism, it is the chauvinism of the emperor towards his subjects, the chauvinism that said the king could take any women in his empire at will. The problem revealed by this episode isn't just the bad behavior of one man. The larger problem is the accumulation of wealth and power by the 1% that enables the record of crimes we've seen from Donald Trump.

My other recent posts relating to this unique election cycle:
Is US Green Party's Jill Stein a holocaust denier?
Jill Stein now claiming Donald Trump is less of two evils
Did Dishonest Jill Stein change her Syria statement on the sly?
Republican support for Green Party @DrJillStein is emerging
Why "Jill not Hill" is a pro-Trump slogan
Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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