Tuesday 11 October 2016

Trump is a very odd man and his locker-room talk is disturbing and strange

A man is that creature with two feet and eight hands. (Jayne Mansfield)
Is the way Donald Trump talked about feeling up women fans normal locker-room talk? Not for all or most men, certainly, but for some?

I am not the best person to ask. I never go near a locker-room and prefer the company and friendship of women to that of men. However, of course crude talk about women is commonplace among many (by no means all) men. 

Donald Trump has tweeted:
"The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!"
We remember that McCain called his wife a very rude word, without any cause, on tape. 

But the words are not the issue - groping strangers is. And it's a cumulative thing.

When, in my mid-twenties, a bunch of women friends invited me into the lavatory with them while they sat around chatting, I discovered that women are much cruder about men than vice versa. Confirming what my biology master said in the 45 minute talk which was the entire sex education my school provided.
"Gentlemen, you think you have dirty minds, but let me tell you: the mind of a 14 year-old gel is a sewer.'
He too, he said, had been into a women's lavatory, a lavatory in the girls' school next door. The boys jeered and he said crossly
"The girls were not there at the time. I was invited by the headmistress. And let me tell you, gentlemen, the things I saw written on the wall shocked me. And, as you know, I was in a Japanese prison camp during the war."
But behaviour like Trump's is not considered acceptable by men and boasting of it is worse. Trump, I realise, is actually a very odd man pretending to be one of the boys. 

I suppose it's difficult to be one of the boys if you are a self-made billionaire.

He almost reminds me of Stalin, in those strange, drunken evenings he spent with Khrushchev, Malenkov, Beria and the rest, Stalin pretending to be a rough man's man rather than the utterly isolated and very strange tyrant who ruled half of Europe. Stalin would play the gramophone and they would dance with one another, despite the fact that only men were present, no-one pointing out the oddness of it all.

On the other hand, a lot of men out there are NSIT, an old debs' expression that means Not Safe in Taxis. Among politicians, 
Asquith famously wasn't. And Strom Thurmond certainly wasn't. As Mark Steyn recounts:
"But to many of us, Strom will be fondly remembered as South Carolina's most indestructible ladies' man. In his early 90s, the wizened Republican with the fiery orange hair-plugs made an ill-advised attempt at bipartisan outreach and groped fellow Senator Patty Murray. In his late 90s, he had a little light petting session with, um, me.
This was my only close encounter with him, and a lot closer than I'd expected. It was the first day of the Clinton impeachment trial and, in a chaotic melee by the lifts, I was suddenly pushed forward and thrown between Thurmond and California Senator Barbara Boxer.Ol' Strom had just cast an appreciative bipartisan eye over the petite brunette liberal extremist. Ms Boxer gave an involuntary shudder. I'd been squashed between the two for about five seconds when I became aware of a strange tickling sensation on my elbow. Glancing down, I was horrified to see an unusually large lizard slithering up and down my arm. On closer inspection, it proved to be Strom's hand. Presumably he'd mistaken my dainty elbow for Barbara's, but who knows? I can't speak for Patty Murray, but I found the mild electric frisson not unpleasant.A senator is only as old as the woman he feels, and, until he started hitting on Telegraph columnists, that's one thing Strom always had a feel for.
He was the only circuit court judge in South Carolina history to have had sex with a condemned murderess as she was being transferred from the women's prison to death row. This was Sue Logue, the only woman in the state ever to be sent to the chair, but not before she'd been sent to the back seat of Judge Thurmond's car for a lively final ride."
Quoting Mark Steyn does not mean I approve of the old lecher, though Steyn seems to do so. I don't. I am sure Thurmond was not the only groper in Congress but he wasn't caught on tape during his 1948 presidential bid. 

He also used the word 'nigger' in that campaign rather a lot, though the papers published the word as 'negro'. The past is a foreign country.


  1. Mr Trump was not a 14-year-old girl when the tape was made. He was a 59-year-old man. It is not the lasciviousness on the tape that repels -- rather his aggression, scorn, and sense of celebrity carnal entitlement.
    That's quite an anecdote about Sen. Thurmond. This famous negro-hater had a half-negro daughter he kept hidden away, conceived with a family servant. Maybe the past is not as foreign a country as we think it is...

    1. Which anecdote? Feeling up Steyn or the condemned woman?

    2. Feeling up Steyn is pretty luridly amusing, and the condemned woman also an eyebrow-raiser in its own pithy way. Hope she died happy but have my doubts.

    3. Actually Mr Trump reminds me of your spot-on portrait of Jimmy Savile -- the lying, sadistic psychopath masquerading as plainspoken truth-teller. Would love you to use your descriptive and analytical powers on a similar character dissection!


  2. Good Lord....Dancing with each other whilst drunk....Do you mean like Churchill & Korda used to do?

    Patrick de Chapeau