3 Ways Men Can Help Shut Down 'Locker Room Talk'
It feels like forever ago, but Trump's words about "grabbing 'em by the pussy" becoming public knowledge is still pretty recent. And despite how awful Donald Trump is, there is silver lining here. I promise.
Donald Trump and longtime "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush unknowingly put on public display something every woman (and man) in the United States needed to see for themselves: two famous, somewhat-respected men talking about women like they are a piece of meat put there just to entertain them.
Apparently, when you're rich like Donald Trump, you can do whatever you want (his words, not mine).
Back to the real world, though — the one that you and I live in and deal with every day — that involves virtually no rich people, but does include plenty of men who instigate or engage in demeaning locker room talk about women.
It's also up to men to step up to the plate and set an example for other men to follow.
What's worse is that, as women, we can stand up for each other every day of our lives, but it might not have as strong of an impact on what's actually happening behind closed doors. It's also up to men to step up to the plate and set an example for other men to follow.
Talk to the man in your life, and help him understand how to shut locker room talk down as soon as he hears it.
Here are some tips to share:
Would he want someone to talk about his mother or sister like that?
Your man undoubtedly has great friendships with the people he hangs out with, but that doesn't mean everything those friends do and say is acceptable.
If this type of negative talk comes up, one way for a guy to immediately squash the conversation is to ask how they would feel if someone's mother or sister was the center of the conversation.
If that doesn't make his friends feel immediately ashamed, your man is probably better off without those friends.
Make it clear to your friends that that type of talk isn't tolerated.
If your man won't stop being friends with assholes, then he needs to establish boundaries regarding what type of talk won't be tolerated while he's around.
If his friends are as good as he believes them to be, they should respect his wishes and avoid talking about the subject completely. I'm sure there are plenty of other less offensive topics for them to discuss that will rustle their jimmies just as much.
Surround yourself with new friends.
Sometimes people get too comfortable in their ways, and talking about awful things, the way Trump did, are the only way they know how to express themselves.
It's not a crime to want to be friends with people who aren't completely offensive.
"Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others," says David Brooks for The New York Times.
At this point, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to think about trying to make some new friends. It's not a crime to want to be friends with people who aren't completely offensive.
There is no fix-all solution for locker room talk. Unfortunately, it happens all the time, and it happens all over, not just in locker rooms. Donald Trump's comments are just one part of a bigger issue. There are thousands of Trumps and Billy Bushes out there.
It's a national call to action to stop supporting the conversation and start exposing what happens behind the scenes, despite how rich or famous that person might be.