In today’s “ready to be offended” world, one group will rise to rule us all – the pearl clutching class.
They’re straight out of a the silent movie era when emotions had to be over-exaggerated to be portrayed without words, so outrage and shock were conveyed by women as clutching their pearl necklaces or putting the back of their hands to their foreheads as if about to faint. It was most phony form of acting – pantomime, really – but it worked with audiences as new to the medium as the actors on the screen.
Today, political pundits and journalists have replaced early actors in feigning outrage at the slightest “wrong.” And it works.
What has become known as the “Trump Tape” is the latest example of these professional pearl-clutchers driving media coverage in an attempt to appear “enlightened.”
It’s at this point when I insert the standard, “What Donald Trump said on that tape is disgusting and I am in no way defending it” disclaimer. But I don’t really mean it. And neither do 99 percent of the people who are still expressing exasperation over it.
What do I mean? Am I some sort of evil, misogynistic monster? No. But the pearl-clutchers would love to dismiss me as one. It would spare them the worry that they’ll be discovered.
You see, while that kind of talk really is disgusting, it’s also very, very common.
No one wants to admit it, and in polite company they won’t, but they and/or their friends have said things that would make a drunken sailor blush. Not just when they were in high school or while drunk, but when they were just with their closest friends or people they trust.
It’s not exactly breaking news that men are pigs. But it’s also not true that men really are pigs. We aren’t. Many of us dress like them, eat like them, embrace our gaseous emissions like them, and talk like them when we are around our own kind.
Sorry ladies, but it’s true. Your man may never admit to it, but unless he sleeps in a bow tie and only hangs around with his Dungeons and Dragons buddies, he’s said things that would turn your stomach, and probably does so semi-regularly.
We don’t act on them any more than people act on it when they exasperatedly say, “I want to choke the life out of that guy” do, but we say it.
When I did roofing in college, when I was a busboy, when I was clerk in a sandwich shop, to when I graduated and moved to DC and became the first person in my family to ever wear a suit and tie to something that wasn’t a wedding or a funeral, disgusting talk has been there.
It passes the time. Dirty jokes and disgusting stories, true or not, help pass the time, particularly on manual labor jobs. When you’re mopping down 500-degree tar on a shadeless black roof reflecting back a 100-degree day, it takes your mind off it and moves the time along. Laughing works.
In professional environments, with some of the highest elected officials in the country, I’ve heard this kind of humor. In bars, on softball fields, everywhere. Even from some of the pearl-clutchers screeching “I do declare” at the Trump audio.
Does it mean all men are monsters? Absolutely not.
We don’t act on it, we laugh about it. If anyone ever did act on it they’d be knocked unconscious in a heartbeat, just we distance ourselves from people who think they’re invincible after a few beers and want to fight everyone they see.
The herd maintains order. But we realize words are not actions. Something the pearl-clutching class would be well-served to admit.
College campuses are not only churning out unemployable graduates with worthless degrees, they’re normalizing the concept of “safe spaces” and equating words with actions. It’s dangerous.
Vice President Joe Biden tweeted this week, “The words are demeaning. Such behavior is an abuse of power. It’s not lewd. It’s sexual assault.” No, Joe, it’s not.
Trump’s words were no more sexual assault than saying “I’m gonna kill that guy” in the heat of the moment is murder. He and Billy Bush were laughing and clearly joking. It was filthy, but it was just joking.
But joking is no longer allowed, especially about women. And if it’s done by someone who isn’t a progressive Democrat in good standing…we’ll, pearls will be clutched.
Aside from forgetting he was wearing microphone, Trump’s mistake was (11 years later) becoming a Republican and opposing a Democrat. I don’t even like the guy, but that really was his greatest sin in the eyes of those preaching the evils of jokes. Jokes they’ve either made or laughed at the essence of when hanging out with their friends. Or they have no real friends.
Trump has done a lot wrong in this campaign, including wasting time campaigning against Paul Ryan and John McCain this week rather than giving speeches exclusively drawing attention Hillary Clinton’s corruption exposed by Wikileaks. But doing what damn near every other man, gay or straight, has done, or still does in private, more than a decade ago isn’t one of them. No matter how fainty beta males pretend to get.
And if you’re being honest, ladies, you and your friends don’t exactly ponder life’s mysteries when the second bottle of wine is uncorked either.