How Do Men Talk About Women When Women Aren’t Around?

By now you’ve probably heard. Back in 2005, Donald Trump had a conversation where he talked about women in a very lewd manner.   This conversation was caught on tape and released to the public last week. Mr. Trump has apologized for those comments, characterizing his vulgar remarks as “locker room talk.” After hearing the contents of the tape, people generally fall into one of three camps.

  • In the first camp are those who have rightfully condemned this behavior, noting that it is not only demeaning to women, it reveals a lack of character and disqualifies “The Donald” for the office of President.
  • A second camp consists of those who have acknowledged that the comments were unsavory and inappropriate even for a private conversation. However, these inappropriate comments occurred ten years ago and that doesn’t necessarily disqualify someone for the office of President. People in this category argue that other Presidents have made embarrassing remarks. Given the sexual reputations of former Presidents like John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Bill Clinton, it is quite possible that similar conversations took place in their private moments when no microphone was around.
  • A third camp of people make the claim that there really isn’t anything wrong with this kind of talk; that this is, in fact, how men talk amongst themselves when women are not around.   Its just “guys being guys.”

Of these three groups, I find myself in the first camp. I think Mr. Trump’s comments are not just inappropriate, they reveal a serious lack of personal character.  If I had any political clout in Republican circles, I would join the voices of those calling for Donald Trump to step aside and allow the Republican party to find a better candidate.  I am also not a fan of Hillary Clinton, so my reasoning here is not politically motivated.

I can also see some validity of those who find themselves in the second camp. I once was a 20-year old college student living in a fraternity house. I also played competitive sports throughout much of my adolescence and young adult life. In a frat house and a locker room, such conversations were not that uncommon. To be clear, these conversations were still not appropriate, but young men who lack maturity and who have been raised in a sexually-charged culture often enter into their teens and early twenties with a tendency to objectify women. Again, this is not to justify any conversations that are lewd and vulgar, whether in a fraternity house or a locker room. It is simply an attempt to understand the origin of such comments and contextualize them. What makes Donald Trump’s words even more shocking, is that he spoke them when he was 59 years old. At some point, the man should have matured in his character. Apparently he did not.

But I totally reject the arguments made by individuals in the third camp. To claim that all or most guys talk this way is an insult to most men. I’ll admit I’ve never taken a scientific survey, but let me say to the women who might read this blog post, I am pretty confident that the comments made by Donald Trump do not represent how most men talk when women are not around. Do some men talk this way? Sadly, I am sure some do. But most men I know would never engage in this kind of conversation or make such comments about women.

So ladies, here is the truth:

  • Most guys notice attractive women. Some guys might even comment on a woman’s attractiveness. But most guys do not talk about women in ways that are insulting, demeaning, or misogynistic.
  • Most men do not brag about sexual exploits, real or imagined. And most men do not view women simply as objects to be pursued for sport or pleasure.
  • Most men want their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters to be respected and treated with honor.
  • Most men want to rise above the animalistic pursuit of sex in order to discover the joy of true intimacy and oneness the way God intended when He created us in His image, “male and female, for one another”. That doesn’t mean that guys are always perfect gentlemen, but it does mean that most of us strive to treat women as real people, not as potential sexual conquests.

I also believe that both men and women want to follow leaders whom they can respect; leaders who may not be perfect, but who at least try to model character, integrity, and honor, both publicly and privately. I think both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fail to meet that standard. Unfortunately, one of them will be our next President. So I guess come election day, many of us will have a difficult choice to make.

No matter what happens over the next few weeks, I will be very glad when this election season is over, and very prayerful that the Lord will soon raise up a new generation of leaders who can not only make competent policy decisions, but also serve as role models of integrity and character. Please join me in that kind of prayer.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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22 thoughts on “How Do Men Talk About Women When Women Aren’t Around?

  1. Does advocating killing preborn babies disquallify a person also? At least Trump ask forgiveness. God says forgive seven x seven. And when we ask Gods forgiveness he wipes the slate clean. I am in a fourth category. I hear a man who stands before us all and apologizes and says he has grown. I forgive.

    • I agree with your central point, Karen. All candidates are flawed and have moral lapses. I am staunchly pro-life and one of the reasons I cannot support Hillary Clinton is because of her stance on that particular issue. I also accept Donald Trump’s apology, although it would sound more humble and sincere if he wouldn’t follow it up immediately with a list of Bill Clinton’s past behaviors. For me, the issue is not whether I should forgive Donald Trump. He hasn’t harmed me personally, so I’m not sure forgiveness is necessary. I do not hold resentment toward him in any way. But when making judgments about who should lead our nation, I do think comments made 10 years ago when you are 59 years old are still a reflection of your character.

  2. So well said and written Mark. So often I am unable to articulate my thoughts. Thank you for your words of thought and wisdom.

  3. Wise words Mark. It is a very sad choice we have. What a dilemma!I agree Donald trumps remarks are grotesque but I’m willing to forgive .Dr James Dobson and some other Christian leaders says he’s accepted Christ. I can’t vote for someone who’s not prolife. In my opinion Billary Clinton is far worse in all aspects for our country. 2 corrupt Clintons in our White House will further sink America.

    • I understand that this election is very difficult and I really don’t begrudge anyone for voting for Donald Trump. I’m going to write my preference for President. A wasted vote, I know.

  4. Mark, you have hit several nails right on their heads and your observations are spot on. If only a truly good candidate were on the ballot. But remember the single biggest issue in this election will be the selection of Supreme Court Justices. That will steer this country’s future for much longer than the next 4 years

    • That is exactly how I feel and why I am voting for who I am voting for. I’m not thrilled with either. I want somebody who will choose a justice who will definitely vote to overturn the citizens United decision. Get dark money and corporations OUT of politics. I need somebody who will not take away my rights and allow me to make my own decisions regarding birth control and let my insurance cover it and let me decide by over turning Hobby Lobby.

    • You hit the nail on the head. As Americans, we need to look at all of the repercussions involved with each candidate, both short-term and long-term. If Hillary is elected, good-bye to the 1st & 2nd Amendments of our Constitution.

  5. As a female (daughter/wife/mother), I feel compelled to weigh in on this topic:

    Nothing saddens or irritates me more than hearing one gender talking about the other gender as if they were merely a pile of meat you could smother with barbecue sauce & spread on a hamburger roll. So, there’s no doubt that Donald Trump should have apologized to women — which he did, and I, for one, accepted. In my opinion, what’s much MUCH worse than feeling sad and irritated over words are the actual ACTIONS of one Bill Clinton who did things too horrific against women to mention while he was the Governor of Arkansas & our POTUS. Yes, it’s true that his wife (at least on paper) would be our president and not Bill, but, unfortunately, as her husband this monster would also be in the White House, most assuredly continuing with his evil actions while in the White House. Addicts do not stop because they’ve changed locations.

    I understand we live in complicated times; but, for me, the decision is very easy to discern the lesser of the two evils between actions & words. Never mind the fact that Hillary’s camp despises our good Catholic brothers and sisters or that she is much more dirty than any other candidate to ever run for office.

    With regard to writing in a candidate (or possibly voting 3rd party via Johnson, Weld, or Stein), I hope voters remember that if neither Hillary nor Trump reaches that 50% threshold (those 270 electoral votes to “win”), the House of Representatives will be choosing our next President, not “We the People.”

    Thank you for your comments regarding this extremely important election. As a woman though, I must respectfully & humbly disagree with your opinion about Mr. Trump. He may not be perfect, but if you’re calling to disqualify him from the presidency over his remarks, you should also be calling to disqualify the other candidate for her husband’s actions (not to mention her own).

  6. I am of the first camp as well. However, let’s remember, not only did Mr. Trump talk very disrespectfully about women 11 years ago, but he continues to do so in the present time. He has also insulted the disabled, people from Mexico, Gold Star parents, a POW (John McCain), persons of color, and even persons in his own party, and the list goes on. I believe we were ALL created in his image, not just a few. At least Hillary represents all of these interest groups, and as a teacher in a diverse classroom, that’s the way it should be. Therefore, Hillary has my vote.

  7. Good blog mark…as a senior gov employee please trust that most of us are heads down trying to do the right thing despite our distorted leadership….
    Bd no matter who is elected most folks will show up to do good…on the election it’s the media that seems to distorts the truth toward their own political advantage……lying is the new norm …very.sad

  8. Hillary is a Methodist who had championed children and families all of her adult life. It cannot even be a close call between her character and Trump’s. It’s a relief that you state Trump’s character (or lack thereof) is disqualifying, but lumping Hillary’s character with his is outrageous. #I’mWithHer because she will be a wonderful President who will treat all people with dignity.

      • I’m sorry, but “championing children and families all of her adult life” does not mesh with her actions of mocking and demeaning Christians for their faith, especially Catholics whom she despises the most. She’s also Pro late-term abortions (even when the fetus is born alive), and is famous for laughing after defending & winning a case for a criminal in a court of law who had molested a 12-year-old girl. If that’s Hillary’s definition of “championing,” then Satan can take a nap.

  9. Hello Pastor Mark, Thank you for your thoughts. I too have been especially burdened about this campaign season and the impending election. Every time you mention it in a sermon, I cry and have to make a great effort to regain some level of composure to be able to sing, leave church, and drive home. In your blog, I am glad that you emphasized that prayer is the answer. As Jane said in our Bible study yesterday, we can pray for a change of heart for the next president. We can also pray for all our leaders. That is really our only hope. Thank you for all that you do. –Jannie Hawkins

  10. Mark,

    Hillary, has violated the 10 Commandments with theft, murder and adulatory that’s not even disputed. Christians are getting butchered in the Middle East because of her actions. However, you say what Trump said is far worse than Hillary’s actions of lies, deceit, death and destruction. Do you think God would agree with you?

    I must say your post is truly remarkable. Perhaps it’s just a reflection that your personal politics trump your faith? After all politics is a religion around the beltway.

  11. per your statement: “But when making judgments about who should lead our nation, I do think comments made 10 years ago when you are 59 years old are still a reflection of your character.”

    Ok maybe so, but then I’m just curious, how do you feel committing a felony within the last year reflects on Hillary’s character? Shouldn’t that be considered when making judgements about who leads our nation too?

    Boil it down: Lewd remarks VS Liar & Felon

  12. Mark,

    This was just forwarded to me today. I wish dearly that I had seen before today. It would have saved me hours and days of frustration and anger that a more public statement against Donald Trumps language had not come from my community. Your blog is so well reasoned, and at the same time so genuine in its admonishment that such language and attitude is not characteristic of a leader, particularly not of one who claims to be a follower of Christ.
    My fellow Christians who have defended Trump have said “But I believe he is better for the country!” as if Christ had called us to follow ‘The Country’.
    They’ve also said “I just don’t like her.” as if Christ called us to ‘like’ our leaders.
    The worst is “I like him because he speaks his mind.” as if Christ called us to speak our own minds, and not to Follow Him.

    Thank you Mark. Hearing sanity and a Christ-like perspective from my own community was the balm I needed. You have eased my soul.