What UMD students really think about Donald Trump’s definition of “Locker Room Talk”

Donald Trump used the phrase “locker room talk” five times during the debate Sunday night to explain his comments about groping women in a 2005 video with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that was released Friday by The Washington Post.

Courtesy of Giphy
Courtesy of Giphy

“I don’t think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk,” Trump said Sunday night. “I’m not proud of it. I apologized to my family. I apologized to the American people. Certainly, I’m not proud of it, but this is locker room talk.”

His apology and explanation have faced great backlash this weekend, especially on social media, where thousands of sexual assault victims are speaking out about their own stories using the hashtag #NotOkay.

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And on Tuesday this week, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh commented on Trump’s 2005 remarks about groping women in an audio interview with Media Matters for America.

“If the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation, then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left,” Limbaugh said.

So what do University of Maryland students think about these comments? 

“What is so ‘wrong’ in the situation is the fact that America is willing to put someone who not only thinks these things but says them in a position of power,” sophomore community health major Hannah Stein said about Trump’s comments. “When you say that him saying those things isn’t wrong, think of the women you know because one in five of them has been sexually assaulted. [Trump] enables rape culture.”

“Rape culture impacts me because it teaches me that my body isn’t mine, and that men are entitled to my body,” sophomore women’s studies major Rachel Greenberg said. “It manifests in everyday ways: I get cat called or honked at on the street, boys at parties keep pushing after I say no, things like that. They make us feel like we owe our bodies to men, like our bodies are commodities for men, it’s awful.”

“Of course everyone should aim for consent, it’s sexy to have consent,” sophomore government and politics major Ziegler said. “However, there are some individuals that simply don’t care, and are looking to satisfy their primal urges no matter the cost. It’s not right or fair.”

“Rape culture is a real problem, and I think addressing it needs to start with telling guys that nothing’s OK without consent,” sophomore journalism major Thomas Kendziora said. “It’s tough to take [Limbaugh] seriously when he uses terms like ‘rape police.’ There’s obviously levels to that stuff, but consent is a pretty big deal.”

How can we move forward?

“Sexual assault is not a women’s issue. Women aren’t sexually assaulting, why should it be a women’s issue? Men need to care about sexual assault, care about women, not just the ones they’re related to,” Greenberg said.

“It’s about teaching people equality, teaching daughters and sons that they are the same, they are both humans of equal worth and they matter,” Stein said. “Hate has to be taught, and we need to stop teaching it.”