The Trump tapes--use of vulgar language.

Hi SD,

Would the fallout from the Trump conversation have been any different if he had said you can grab women by the cunt instead of the pussy? I am just asking because I was musing recently that he kind of normalized the word pussy. I mean, “fuck” is “fuck” and can’t be seen as anything but a vulgarity. But pussy, even with its connection to female genitalia, still is a little more palatable because of its association with the lighter issue of general weakness. SNL this past weekend certainly had no problem with saying the word. Cunt, however, refers directly to genitals, and is no mistake about it derogatory. I wonder if had he used cunt would the word cunt have become normalized as well? Or maybe his campaign would have failed hard in the same way it might if he were found to have called someone a nigger?

I’m also wondering about the effect language like this will have on children.

Sorry for the vulgar language.


I think the fallout would have been the same or maybe slightly more extreme. People would be censoring the word more both in print and broadcast/cable media. It would not be on SNL.

Keep in mind that the issue with what Trump said isn’t the use of the word “pussy” but rather the actions Trump describes. Which would be the same if Trump was bragging about grabbing women by the hoo-ha.

There is, of course, a number of people desperate to bog down the discussion in litigation over the word “pussy” in order to dodge the actual issue, hence the “But women bought 50 Shades of Grey!” meme photos and other garbage.

Well, the c-word is a special case. There are lots of people who consider it utterly inappropriate profanity, up there with the n-word. I’m not sure I’d agree with them, but I have no particular desire to use the word in any event.

So the c-word would have created its own issues.

If he’d used something non-profane - even if he’d said “crotch” or “groin” - I think we’d still be up in arms not because of the words but because of the actions. You don’t get to brag about sexually assaulting people even if you’re polite about it.

I doubt the word choice will have any real effect on children. It’s a rare third-grader who can’t rattle off the entire dictionary of profane words. It might be a little shocking to hear the words during a Presidential debate, but it also ought to be clear just why some words aren’t acceptable.

If it was only Trump using naughty words then there would be plenty of people who are already against him that would be fanning themselves in fake outrage. Clinton supposedly has a potty mouth too. I don’t think it would have much of an impact. The fact that it was instead him showing a cavalier attitude towards what would be some sort of sexual assault in all the jurisdictions I know is the real issue.

I can imagine SNL getting around it somehow; maybe by using “can’t” repeatedly…

ETA: or how about bleeping the word, but showing the person’s mouth in close-up saying the word?

Got any recordings? If not, then either she actually doesn’t have a potty mouth, or she’s mature enough to be able to censor herself when on microphone, which is just as good.

I have no doubt she is as savvy as anyone who has risen to that level. Plenty of savvy people have been caught unawares by equipment they didn’t know was recording. It’s happened to me. If it had happened to Clinton I’m sure it would have been out by now. If it was just cursing I wouldn’t give a fuck about it. Just like if the Trump tape only contained curse words and not reprehensible content I wouldn’t care either.

Interestingly Trump is already talking about if they release more tapes. He must be thinking back to all the times he was on mic.