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The Trump Tape, Higher Ed and Consent

October 10, 2016
 

The Washington Post article and recording of Donald Trump boasting about how he tried to have sex with women and groped them without asking is having major reverberations in the political world. And it is also prompting considerable discussion in higher education, where a major part of the campaign against sexual assault has centered on the idea that sex without consent is rape.

Laura L. Dunn, founder and executive director of SurvJustice, which promotes efforts to prevent and punish sexual assault on campus and elsewhere, said via email that the group avoids statements that could be seen as partisan. But she said that the comments from Trump in 2005 merit a response. She said that the group would comment on statements that are "antithetical" to its work, statements "such as a national figure making comments that suggest his fame entitles him to 'do anything,' to a woman such as 'grab them by the pussy.' Of further concern is his suggestion that their silence (which he knows is driven by his fame) further allows him to take such advantage. This kind of speech and mentality promotes and condones sexual aggression and male entitlement over the bodies of women."

On Saturday, Alexandra Smith, national chair of the College Republicans, announced that she would no longer support Trump.

 
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