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Reading between blurred lines: Stu Bykofsky’s inexplicable Trump apology

We thought The Daily News columnist’s latest work needed annotation. As a public service.

Editor’s note: Billy Penn readers may not be (hopefully aren’t?) familiar with the oeuvre of Stu Bykofsky, longtime Philadelphia Daily News columnist who’s opined on sex trafficking in Thailand and picked fights with bilingual media organizations here in the city. And so, we thought Stu’s latest work — wherein he grapples with the Donald Trump grab-them-by-the-pussy comments and ensuing fallout — needed annotation. As a public service. Bykofsky’s words are in regular type. Ours are inset.

THIS PAST WEEK, a couple of Trump-related events closed a circle for me.

Please, please, please let this be a column about geometry and not orgasms.

News of the death of Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal took me to its birth, which I covered. What happened on that April night in 1990 puts Donald Trump’s recently reported lewd remarks and perhaps conduct into a sexual focus.

Pretty sure it was Trump’s lewd remarks and perhaps conduct that put it into a sexual focus, not your recollection of a casino opening 26 years ago.

After the glowing speeches, after the celebrity guests had been paraded around, I waited for The Donald to get a few exclusive words from him for my column. The ballroom was enormous, the chandeliers were dimmed, but I always knew where Trump was – all I had to do was follow a puddle of light as it snaked around the ballroom.

The puddle of light came from TV cameras that shadowed him around the room as he crowed about his new venture.

The puddle of light is blinding.

lights

There were a number of young and decked-out women on the edge of that puddle of light, drawn to him like iron filings to a magnet. They clearly were enraptured by Trump – maybe the money, maybe the fame, maybe the hair – I don’t know.

It was, unequivocally, NOT because of the hair. But maybe instead of assuming those “young and decked-out” women were some sort of gold-digging, hair-obsessed sexual predators, you could have — as a self-described reporter — asked them?

I do know that was his reality, so I wasn’t surprised when, 15 years later, he told Billy Bush that when you’re a star, you can do what you want with women – “they let you do it. You can do anything” – even grab them by the you-know-what.

He said “pussy.” A presidential candidate said “grab them by the pussy.”

He was right if he meant there is a genre of women – not slut-shaming here –

If you have to point out you’re not doing something, you’re probably doing that thing.

who love to bag celebrities. And by “bag,” I mean bed. He was dead wrong if he believes that is true for all women because it is not.

Can we not use the word “bed” or “bag” when referring to sex? Also why is “bag” ok but “pussy” is not?

The reality is some women – I said some – are sexual aggressors who unabashedly enjoy sex for fun as much as men.

A consenting adult enjoying sex does not = being a sexual aggressor. Groping women without their consent = being a sexual aggressor.

This is not news to most of us. It has been celebrated in popular culture, such as the 2002 movie The Banger Sisters in which Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon, playing ’60s free-love hippies who, in their younger days, ferociously bed every rock star they could get their paws on.

Groupies are available to almost every band in every city.

Dammit Stu, you’re going to make people throw up if you use the word “bed” again. And, to repeat, consenting adults willingly finding partners is not remotely the same thing as “grab them by the pussy.”

Chicago artist Cynthia Plaster Caster achieved fame, and no doubt orgasms,

*puts protractor away*

by making plaster casts of rock-star penises, starting with Jimi Hendrix.

Women enjoying sex has nothing to do with this conversation. Just because women enjoy sex doesn’t mean they enjoy unwanted, uninvited groping.

I may be accused of “mansplaining,”

You got it!

but the truth is there are women who happily will give it up – for fame, for money, for bragging rights, whatever. That is the reality Donald Trump knows.

If women want to have sex with Donald Trump so badly, why would he brag about kissing them without waiting?

It is also the reality of Wilt Chamberlain, who claimed to have bedded

*throws up*

20,000 women, and even of John Bolaris, who at one time couldn’t enter a bar without women throwing themselves at him. Sex is a primal urge, and both genders want a slice of that pie.

Thank you Dr. Stu for explaining that sex is a primal urge for both genders that is literally THE BASIS OF ALL HUMAN LIFE. Hopefully it’s OK with you that women enjoy it, too.

After the sexual revolution, we now find the sexual lines are blurred.

Slow your roll, Robin Thicke. Pretty sure the sexual revolution was all about challenging social norms that had for centuries silenced women in how they interacted in sexual relationships. If anything, the revelation that women do have a voice when it comes to sex should make the “lines” you talk about clear as day.

I read we are living in a “rape culture” at the same time we are in a “hook-up culture” and have “friends with benefits,”

Nearly one in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner over their lifetime, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped over the course of their life. Ninety-one percent of rape victims are women.

The percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in institutions of higher education is estimated at somewhere between 20 and 25 percent. Ninety percent of those women know their attacker.

Meanwhile, we’re somehow talking about the mentality of a man who bragged with a dude he hardly knew about how he could grope a woman if he wanted to. These are not hook-ups. This is not hard. Rape is when consent does not happen. A hook-up is when it does.

And next time someone on the street yells at you to “bend over” or a guy texts you that he wants to “own you,” repeat your line about how rape culture doesn’t exist.

yet a young man can be prosecuted for sexual assault if he tries for “second base” during a make-out session.

FINALLY! SOMEONE STANDING UP FOR MEN MAKING UNWANTED ADVANCES!

Even though we are all over the sexual lot, there remains a line between rape and seduction. Some feminists talk as if sex is an act committed by men on women,

Drew you a diagram of how heterosexual intercourse works since that’s the part that seems to confuse you:

img_9555

as if women don’t have sexual urges and sexual fantasies. “The Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy – built around bondage and sadomasochism – sold 100 million copies worldwide. The primary buyers were women.

Fifty Shades of Grey is also built around consent. The main character literally signs contracts consenting to sex with her male counterpart. This is also irrelevant. Do men act on everything they see in porn?

Let’s step into the locker room, a term used by Trump, which enraged a number of professional athletes.

Billy Penn reporter Mark Dent was in a locker room this morning. The only conversation going on was people trash-talking Donald Trump. And baseball.

I don’t spend much time in sports locker rooms, but I have been to the gym and bars and have heard men talk in their unguarded moments.

Same. It’s mostly about pooping.

Also, maybe don’t sneak up behind people at the bar.

My reality is that most men don’t talk like that, don’t act like that, don’t even think like that. When I have heard it, it came either from Alpha males, the top of the pyramid, or men of the lower class, the bottom of the pyramid.

I’m sorry, are you really saying that our big societal problem is just rich men and poor men?

Don’t fall for the line that the piggish Trump represents all men.

Exactly zero people said that he does.

He doesn’t – any more than Bill Cosby does – and Trump’s remarks don’t prove there is an oppressive, anti-women “guy culture.”

This column might.

As rich men use money or power as bait for beautiful women, those women use their looks to attract men, wealthy if possible. They used to be called gold-diggers, and the most notorious example was gorgeous 1993 Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith, who married multimillionaire octogenarian J. Howard Marshall, who looked like a head of cabbage. She did not represent all, or even most, women.

Breaking news! Some women have married men for money! Cat’s outta the bag. You really dug deep on this one, Stu. And your argument now is that those behaviors give rich men license to grope?

Not a single word I’ve written excuses Trump.

Then why are we here? That’s some A+ column-writing, Ace.

I’m just saying he comes from his own reality, which is warped by fame and fortune.

When this homeless, black, schizophrenic man was living in his own reality, the DA suggested a six-year prison sentence.

“Let me tell you about the very rich,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. “They are different from you and me.”

You’re right. They can get away with getting caught on camera bragging about grabbing women by the pussy. And then maybe becoming the president.

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