On of the few joys left to me as a single man in my sixth decade is the friendly smiles I used to get from women at the grocery store, who seemed to understand that I was completely harmless. A trip to the grocery store was always enlivened by a younger woman (sometimes much younger) who felt free to give me a friendly smile because she knew she was not thereby opening herself to unwanted attention, that I would just smile back, and continue filling my cart.
That seemed to change this morning, when I went to the store for the first time since The Trump Tape was revealed. The women seemed colder, disgusted even, and certainly less friendly. Was it because they have been confronted with the fact that men of all ages can be pigs? Is it because they wonder if I am thinking about grabbing them by their genitals – a move that, frankly, mystifies me as much as it repulses me? Am I a creeper in disguise, if not an actual rapist?
The big surprise here should not be that Trump, a man of considerable means, was lewd and crude, as sexual gratification is the biggest prize of all for many, many men, but that Howard Stern has prospered for years – decades even – with his revolting shtick, having recently received a long-term contract paying him $90 million a year for talking about things such as whether or not it’s okay to refer to Trump’s daughter as a piece of ass. A celebrity who appears on his show should automatically fall off the A-list.
Don’t get me wrong; perhaps the majority of men objectify women at some point and few of us would want to hear tapes of things we’ve said. My book, An Ordinary Man, attempts to portray the force sexuality exerts on ordinary men and is not pretty, but you can safely blame men like Howard for helping to make men like Trump. Pigs of a bristle.
SiriusXM shouldn’t come out of this unscathed, either. Ninety million for Stern’s garbage mouth? Show them as well what you think of their support for it.