It Ain’t Just Boy Talk


Melania Trump sat down for an interview with Anderson Cooper. She is seeking to reassure a nation ill at ease that the man on the audio, the man bragging about sexually assaulting women because he’s a “star”, the man who bragged about forcing himself on a married woman  – “I moved on her like a bitch” – is a man she does not recognize.

She wants Americans to believe that she has never heard her husband speak the way he did on that tape. Melania does not refer to her husband’s comments as bragging about sexual assault. No. She downplays it. Melania says the exchange is just “boy talk.” Never mind that her husband officially qualified to be a member of AARP at the time he made those comments.

Melania Trump would really like voters to keep in mind that her husband isn’t anything at all like the man who was on that bus with Billy Bush, even though we have yet to see Donald Trump act like a decent human being in any situation. He defies decency on every level.

Melania has some thought about Billy Bush, who lost his job, and maybe his career, over that “boy talk” session. He was likely the one responsible for her husband’s bad boy behavior. You know how boys are when they get together, trying to one up one another.

“Two teenage boys,” Melania attempted to explain away her husband’s behavior to Cooper.

“Your husband was 59 at the time,” Cooper replied.

Melania laughed. “I say I have two boys at home. I have a young son. I have my husband.”

Given Donald Trump’s propensity for the juvenile, I’m willing to concede that yes, living with Donald Trump would be a lot like living with a petulant, ill-behaved 13-year old, who lacks any sense of common decency and who displays a troublesome fascination with his genitals. My apologies to all the well-behaved 13-year olds out there.

“I know how some men talk,” Melania defended.

“Is that how you saw this?” Cooper inquired. “Just as lewd talk?”

Yes, Melania said. She believes the tape, everything, was all organized. A plot to take down her husband. All the women who have come forward with accusations of sexual assault by Donald Trump? Liars. They are all liars working on behalf of a left-leaning media.

It all sounds so familiar. Maybe it’s because I was in the newsroom the first time stories like this made headlines, back when Bill Clinton was president.Only then, it was Hillary Clinton who was insisting that a right-wing conspiracy was underway to destroy her husband. Hillary was convinced that Bill was telling her the truth.

Just like Melania.

How discombobulating, listening to Melania repeat almost verbatim the very same defense of her husband that Hillary had employed when defending her husband.

Initially voters felt sorry for Hillary. Sorry that she put her trust in a man who was cheating on her and lying to her about it. We knew the truth would come out sooner or later. We knew that Bill was playing Hillary for the fool, the way cheaters always do.

“Why would my husband lie to me about cheating on me?”a young woman asked me when the issue came up in her marriage.

What she couldn’t wrap her brain around was that once her husband was found guilty of being with another woman, why would he lie about the degree to which he was involved with the other woman?

“Because cheaters lie,” I explained.

It is a common problem, for both men and women, this admitting to such betrayals. It is so difficult for the betrayed spouse to believe that the person they love and honor would ever cheat on them.

The more Bill Clinton denied his affairs, the angrier the public grew with Hillary for believing his lies.

The more Donald Trump denies his sexual assaults, the angrier the public grows with Melania for standing by a man who brags about assaulting women.

“I’m not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette,” Hillary said. “I’m sitting here because I love him. I respect him. And I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together. And if that’s not enough for some people, then, heck, don’t vote for him.”

It’s wincing to watch that video given what we know now about Bill’s sexual pursuits.

It’s equally as painful to hear Melania defend a man unworthy of her trust.

“I know what people are saying about me. They think I am not a strong woman. Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t feel sorry for me. I am a strong woman. I can handle everything,” she said, in a tone reminiscent of that of Hillary.

These two women, they have so much in common. They are the flip side of the same coin, at least when it comes to their love lives. What Melania doesn’t understand yet, but Hillary knows all too well, is that when the dust storm settles over this election, the general public will not feel sorry for Melania. They will vilify her, the way the public has done Hillary, the way we do almost any woman, who out of love, out of honor, out of who knows what all reasons, chooses to stay in a marriage with a cheating spouse.

Melania can’t see it yet, but she would be wise to pay attention to how Hillary has managed to rise above a situation that most of us would find intolerable. It’s bad enough to have your husband take up with another woman, but when he does it in front of God and an entire world of onlookers, it is downright humiliating.

Melania might want to be careful about the women she maligns in defense of a husband who has long history of cheating and lying.

Ain’t nobody going to be feeling sorry for her should Donald Trump have to face his accusers in court.

Ask Hillary. She knows all too well how voters make women pay for the wrongdoings their husbands commit.

Karen Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press).



Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.



about 6 years ago

The talk is bad enough. Power and wealth corrupt and corrode. They blind people. It's the mind and the mindset behind the "boy talk" that is so deeply disturbing. Consider Andrew Sullivan's observations in the October 10 interview with Tavis Smiley. Modern history has seen people like Donald Trump before. By and large, Christianity has either passively allowed them to do what they did, or worse, fawned all over them as they did it. The parallels and the precedent are frightening.


Karen Spears Zacharias

about 6 years ago

Thanks for the link, Roger. I guess, given my druthers, in this election I would have preferred that Christianity had taken the passive approach. The intensity and fervor with which Falwell, Dobson and Graham and others have come out and embraced DT as the "only" choice for candidate is disturbing. That they continue to embrace him despite the many abhorrent ways in which he conducts his campaign and has conducted his life flies in the face of everything that Christianity means to me. I will never respect any of these men again.



about 6 years ago

Many German clergy did the same for Adolf Hitler. History does repeat in closer intervals than we might care to believe. The divide in the country may be nearly impossible to heal short of bloodshed. That could continue for some time; and much of the National Guard, if called out, could mutiny. I can't imagine any election night concession speeches calling on Americans to come together for the common good and unite behind the "victor", at least not from the Trump camp. If Clinton emerges, I believe efforts to impeach her will commence well before the Electoral College meets. There could be active efforts to partition states or for certain states to secede. The body of Christ in our myriads of church bodies will be torn apart more than it already is. Challenging days ahead, for sure.


Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.