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(CNN)“When you’re a star, they just let you do it. Just grab her in the pussy!”
Put Donald Trump’s words in the mouth of a college football player and you get to the heart of the work to end sexual violence on college campuses. Such language — and the attitudes and behavior of men who feel a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies — is at the center of hundreds of civil rights investigations by the Department of Justice into how colleges handle sexual assault cases.
The Trump incident will certainly be discussed in political terms. But doing so risks missing the broader indictment of the moment — the entitled misogyny that leads to men’s violence against women.
Those who excuse the language as mere “locker room” talk are doing something dangerous. Society needs to understand and examine such language and recognize the damage it does. There is a need to expand the Department of Justice’s investigations beyond college campuses to all places where euphemisms like “locker room” talk are used to excuse and normalize a culture of violence.