Editorial: Locker room talk doesn’t stay inside

Billy+Galant
Back to Article
Back to Article

Editorial: Locker room talk doesn’t stay inside

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

Foolish words lead to action.

That’s what Donald Trump and other powerful people don’t seem to understand. And their words, and the violent actions that those words can encourage, directly affect students on campuses around the country.

Sexual assault has affected millions of Americans. These people are sisters, daughters, wives, brothers, sons, husbands and friends. But locker room-type banter reduces them to mere objects. “Beautiful” objects that people like Trump “can’t even wait to start kissing.”

Can’t even wait for consent.

When powerful men believe that they’re entitled to use women, even married women, as they please, they are directly contributing to the rape culture on college campuses, including our own.

Locker room talk happens everywhere. On the large scale, those who have money and power believe they are owed affection from anyone they set their sights on. And in Trump’s case, he clearly believes that personal fame is the only form of consent needed to make a move on an unsuspecting woman.

However, it’s not just people in positions of power who participate in such talk. People like Trump have proven that locker room talk doesn’t fade away with age. Disturbing things are said every day by people who then try to reduce these words to mindless banter or justify with “boys being boys.” 

A friend of the editorial board attended a FYCARE meeting this semester. She was thoroughly unnerved when a group of young men in her class said that the clothes a victim may be wearing at the time of the assault are a possible cause of the assault. They later suggested that a woman has an obligation to finish any sexual act that she begins.

These words may be excused by the public because of “immaturity and foolishness,” similar to Trump’s line of excuses in his public “apology.” But the reality is that this banter is not just banter.

When people are talked about as though they are objects, others begin to believe that they should be treated as objects as well. This is why we cannot accept that what is said as a “joke” between guys in the locker room are just words with no consequences.

We see the consequences of this culture face-to-face.

We see them in the eyes of our friend who is crying after being assaulted.

We hear them in locker rooms at schools, where young boys are repeating things that they have heard from powerful men. And we see them in the media every day, as people excuse vulgar language when it comes from someone in a position of authority.

Words that result in violent actions are not just words. Please think before you speak — and vote in this year’s election.