In a 2005 Access Hollywood videorecording, bankrupt businessman, soft-core porn film actor, and reality show star Donald Trump can be heard using objectifying and body-chopping language which escalates to airing his views on his expectation that he can sexually assault women.

“Oh, nice legs, huh?” Trump says, eyeing a woman.

“I did try and f— her. She was married,” Trump says of another woman.

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”

Then back to body chopping: “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything.”

That put him in mind of what he does, and he brags: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

“You can do anything… Grab ’em by the pussy.”

“Lest there be any doubt,” Emily Arrowood wrote for US News and World Report, “this is the very definition of sexual assault. Trump is expressing his entitlement to women’s bodies, and describing how he takes – kisses, grabs – what he wants from women when he wants it. You’d be hard pressed to come up with a more explicit description of sexual harassment.”

As of January 2020, twenty-six women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct; two women have accused him of rape.

In 2018, a man used Trump’s words to justify his sexual assault of a woman during a flight. After being arrested for sexually assaulting a woman as they flew on a Southwest Airline (which the headline to the article euphemized as “groping”), he asserted that President Trump had said it was “OK to grab women by their private parts.”

After the video became public, a sign appeared at a Trump rally: “Better to grab a P***y than to Be One.”

Trump is expressing his entitlement to women’s bodies, and describing how he takes what he wants from women when he wants it. You’d be hard pressed to come up with a more explicit description of sexual harassment.”

Commentators about the 2016 Presidential election said that Trump keyed into and represented the angry white man. Jill Filopovic summarized the relationship between Trump and white men:

President Trump ran a campaign of aggrieved masculinity… Mr. Trump oozes male entitlement, from his brash insistence that he’s the best at everything despite knowing very little about anything to his history of crass sexism… Mr. Trump promised he would make America great again, a slogan that included the implicit pledge to return white men to their place of historic supremacy.

A decade earlier Burger King tapped into this perennially disappointed and angry man in their ‘Manthem’ commercial. It opens in a restaurant, as a white Millennial man sings “I am man, hear me roar/In numbers too big to ignore/And I’m way too hungry to settle for chick food!” He looks at his plate, shakes his head, and gets up, walking away from his date, a young woman, and out of the restaurant. There he is joined by other men, all holding hamburgers singing, “Oh, yes, I’m a guy! I’ll admit I’ve been fed quiche! Wave tofu bye-bye! Now it’s for Whopper beef I reach.”

The aggrieved masculinity ‘Manthem’ is sung to what is known as the women’s liberation anthem, Helen Reddy’s 1972 song which opens with the line, “I am woman, hear me roar.” By defining sexual harassment, date rape, and marital rape, while also challenging gender stereotypes and creating resources for rape victims and battered women, the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s and the 1980s challenged the proprietary misogynist view that men had the right to “just start kissing them” and “grab ’em by the pussy.” The Manthem wrests the narrative back to angry men, men angry about the absence of the symbol of patriarchal control – meat.

from The Pornograhy of Meat (Bloomsbury Academic paperback, RRP £21.99)

 

Carol J. Adams is the author of numerous books including The Sexual Politics of Meat, Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals and The Pornography of Meat. She is the co-editor of several anthologies, including most recently Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth (with Lori Gruen). Her work is the subject of two recent anthologies, Defiant Daughters and The Art of the Animal, in which a new generation of feminists, artists, and activists respond to her groundbreaking work. The Pornography of Meat is published by Bloomsbury Academic in hardback, paperback and eBook.
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Author portrait © Hillary Cohen DeParde

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