Locker Room Talk: Breaking My Silence
I've been sitting back watching, and it's about time I broke my silence on the locker room banter subject that has blanketed the news. It's time that ALL men in the Treasure Valley joined me. Can you put politics aside to do what's right?
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we’ve been fighting this epidemic for last ten years at 103.5 Kissfm, Boise’s #1 Hit Music Station. I have sat and cried with women and men who have confessed their abuse for the first time. I’ve had males and females in their 60’s unload a lifetime of guilt for something that wasn’t their fault.
Today I write you this letter in guilt that I didn’t do earlier. This ISN’T a political blog, but a call to other men across the Treasure Valley to stand up against this behavior. Whatever you do, don’t minimize this “locker room talk” as something that is assumed guys do. First, we don’t. I’ve NEVER sat around and talked about women like this. Are there men that do? Yes, and I know some, but I don’t participate. If we minimize sitting around and talking about taking advantage of women, then dismiss it as something that doesn’t matter, what message is that sending to our women?
Billy Bush and Donald Trump should be ashamed that even in 2005 this would be acceptable. Those two men have made us all look terrible sending a message that this is somehow the way we boys chat in the locker room. That is false. Forget who you are voting for and what political party you cast a ballot. Don’t make this political. Here’s how I would have responded to the latest allegations on Donald Trump if he didn’t do it:
“First and foremost, if you are a victim of sexual assault whether a man, woman, little boy or girl, it’s not your fault. I know it must be hard thinking nobody will believe you, the shame or embarrassment that you may go through. Let me be the first to say it takes COURAGE to stand up to your abuser. If you’ve experienced sexual assault, it’s your responsibility to yourself, your family, and other victims that you say something. In no way should anyone discount this and if someone comes to you – take it very seriously. Women have been under assault by men for many years, and we’re turning corners today. I would hate to think that because of these allegations against me that we would somehow take a step backward….”
Donald Trump and Billy Bush could have both made statements that would have made an impact on the entire country. Just another missed opportunity.
My message is to the tens of thousands of people that are NOT speaking up because of the politics involved. This isn’t politics. This is a person’s life and if we minimize this kind of talk to just banter in a locker room than we’re saying it’s okay. I don’t want any political responses because I won’t read them. Every time you justify “locker room talk”, you’re saying it’s acceptable to people around you. Billy Bush was also a highly public figure and was equally guilty. Don’t respond with, “He was wrong, but Hillary…” Stop. Be a role model and teach someone that this kind of behavior isn’t right. The cycle of that sort of banter can stop with you. I know I might be criticized because we live in a red state and someone will think I’m pushing Democratic views around this election for a pro-Hillary Clinton agenda. If that’s what you believe, then you totally missed it. I’m writing this for the victims and survivors of abuse. I'm writing to reach other men like myself who believe "locker room talk" isn't typical. Even if this message just reaches ONE person and that individual finally says something, it was worth it.
I’m not a counselor or a professional on this subject. I’m just a human with a heart that has heard stories that your stomach couldn’t handle right now. I live with nightmares that were a reality for someone else.
This isn’t just “locker room banter” and more insulting, “just words.” Words are NOT just a combination of random letters. Just one word can cut like a knife. Bruises can heal, but words stick in your mind forever and demoralize you.
Just because you haven't been affected by this kind of abuse or harassment doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. The truth will come out in the media. I’d like to take this opportunity like Tom Hanks did and speak on it by setting an example as a man. We don’t condone this behavior, and it’s not acceptable to us. #nomore #notinmylockerroom
If you find yourself in an abusive situation or know someone that needs help, please follow the links below. The Women's and Children's Alliance is just one of the many organizations that help support victims of abuse each day. Don't wait, go now. God bless.