The 2005 recording of Donald Trump and Billy Bush discussing women caused an outpour of anger and disgust at what the former later dismissed as "locker room banter." While that seemed to have been the straw that broke the camel's back for many a Republican politician who then un-endorsed the GOP nominee, his surrogates continued to launch increasingly flailing defenses of his behavior.
Their dismissals of Trump's disturbing conversation mostly centers around the argument that they were simply words, just the kind of talk that men have. That premise itself is a deeply problematic one that normalizes rape culture in society.
"I think people like Donald Trump will never understand the correlation that women understand between words and actions," actress Amber Tamblyn says in a recently released video addressing the Trump tape. "Especially when you're a man in a position of power and you talk that way publicly and you say those things — you are telling the world, you are telling everyone that it's OK to behave that way."
Created by the group Humanity for Hillary, a pro-Clinton advocacy group, the video entitled "It's Not OK" features dozens of women recounting their own agonizing personal experiences with sexual harassment — including Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Shannon Doherty, and Whoopi Goldberg, all of whom tell Trump, and all the other men engaged in conversations like these, that it's not OK.
The video also touches on women being blamed for their assault and dealing with authorities inadequately equipped to handle such cases.
It's a powerful rebuttal to the notion that such talk is harmless, that it's OK to say these things about women because they're not acting on it. But as Tamblyn (who went public with her own story about being sexually harassed via Instagram in response to the Trump tape) said, there is a strong link between talking about these things and acting on them — and many women understand that to be true, every day of their lives. That's also part of the reason women see catcalling as a threat.
"What are we supposed to do?" one woman asks. "You're talking about harassing us. That's not OK."