Of All the Many, Many Things to Shame Donald Trump Over, Consensual Sex With a Porn Star Is Not One of Them

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There are a lot of things that Donald Trump says and does that are worth our scrutiny and condemnation. A lot of those things have to do with his treatment of women. He’s been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment or assault. He’s said he’s not a feminist. Just this week, he defended now-former staff secretary Rob Porter, who has been accused of assault by multiple ex-wives and girlfriends. He defended Porter in front of reporters and later in a tweet that appeared to be a criticism of the entire #MeToo movement.

Trump has stood by other alleged abusers, including but not limited to Roy Moore (accused of inappropriate contact with minors, including at least one instance of sexual assault), his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (accused of assaulting a female reporter), and Fox News’ Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly (accused of many, many instances of sexual assault and harassment).

What Trump never mentioned in any of these instances was any concern at all for the women involved.

Again, all this is to point out what we all already know: If you want to criticize Trump, especially in the way he seems to regard women, there are a lot of angles from which you can come. Valid angles that don’t harm or disrespect any women in the process. In a tweet sent out this weekend, frequently problematic comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler chose a different angle.

Judd Apatow also wrote something similar.

As you might imagine, a lot of people were upset that Handler and Apatow would put adult film stars on the same level of ethical corruption and moral bankruptcy as domestic abuse, defunding health care, and Russian hacking.

Apatow attempted a follow-up tweet indicating his real problem is with infidelity since Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels was said to have taken place while Melania was pregnant with their son Baron. But those were not the words he chose, and given his original tweet, it’s hard to see this shift as anything but a justification for his sex-negative pearl-clutching.

We already have a president who doesn’t respect women. The last thing we need is critics doing the same. The shaming of any form of consensual sex work has no place in progressive politics.

(image: Shutterstock)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.