In one powerful Facebook post, a father of two completely destroyed Donald Trump’s idea of what it is to be a man.
In the hours after the release of some of the candidate’s most offensive statements yet, Trump apologized for the comments — in which he bragged about kissing women without their consent, and claimed he could “grab them by the pussy” — but also dismissed them as “locker room banter.”
"This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” he said in a video posted to Facebook. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close.”
It was a claim that Trump and his supporters repeated frequently over
the next 72 hours: the comments were normal male banter; something
other men do all the time.
The defense sparked outrage among many men, who claimed that despite being male, and occasionally visiting locker rooms, they do not condone this kind of conversation. One father took to Facebook to tell his sons why that is.
“Men do not, at times, talk like that,” wrote Derek Steele, in an open letter addressed to his sons. “Sure some individuals with an X and Y chromosome like you may say something like that, but we do not call them Men. We call them perverts, abusers, or rapists - not Men. Real Men don't do that and wouldn't even think to say that.”
He also counseled his sons that most of what they hear about being a man is “total garbage.” In fact, Steele’s definition of a “real man” defies traditional notions of masculinity, in favor of vulnerability and compassion.
“Real Men play dress up and enjoy tea parties and will make a complete fool out of themselves just to hear a child laugh,” he wrote. “They cry, even weep, when the situation calls for it.”
Most importantly, he wrote, “they respect, honor and cherish women because all of them are human.”