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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/7/17

Revisiting and Questioning Trump's Boasting to Billy Bush in 2005

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Camille Paglia no Fronteiras do Pensamento So Paulo 2015
Camille Paglia no Fronteiras do Pensamento So Paulo 2015
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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) October 7, 2017: On October 8, 2016, the Washington Post released previously unaired footage of Donald Trump, the Republican Party's 2016 presidential candidate, speaking in 2005 with Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood."

After the Washington Post released the footage of Trump boasting to Billy Bush, Trump's political surrogates claimed that he was engaging in "locker-room talk" -- thereby impugning locker-room talk. Trump himself went through the public ritual of apologizing for his boasting. In the end, the "Access Hollywood" footage did not prevent Trump from winning a decisive electoral victory in the 2016 presidential election.

Today, a women's advocacy group known as UltraViolet is playing airing the footage on a large portable screen, including sound and subtitles, in front of the Washington Monument. Perry Stein reports in the Washington Post (dated October 6, 2017) that UltraViolet is doing this with a permit issued by the National Park Service.

According to Stein's article, the members of UltraViolet are showing the "Access Hollywood" videotape because in their estimate, Trump's boasting shows that he is "a proud sexual predator." But are there any other ways to interpret what Trump says on that video?

Now, it is widely known that for years Trump cultivated a playboy image -- based, at the time, on the Hugh Hefner model of the playboy. Hefner died recently. Consequently, lots of commentaries have been published about his and his model of the playboy.

For example, Jeanie Pyun published her interview with the feminist contrarian commentator Camille Paglia. The published interview titled "Camille Paglia on Hugh Hefner's Legacy, Trump's Masculinity and Feminism's Sex Phobia" appears in the Hollywood Reporter:

The title of the published interview accurately names the three main topics that Camille Paglia discusses in the interview.

Now, I admire Camille Paglia's book Sexual Personae (Yale University Press, 1990), the revised and expanded version of her Yale University doctoral dissertation in English.

In addition, I admire Camille Paglia's courage in criticizing and countering feminist zealotry.

In any event, in the published interview, Jeanie Pyun asks Camille Paglia about the cultural impact of Hefner's magazine.

Camille Paglia credits Hefner's magazine with "revolutioniz[ing] the persona of the American male." She also refers to "Hefner's new vision of American masculinity."

Camille Paglia says, "Hefner reimagined the American male as a connoisseur in the continental manner, a man who enjoyed all the fine pleasures of life, including sex. Hefner brilliantly put sex into a continuum of appreciative responses to jazz, to art, to ideas, to fine food."

Skipping ahead a bit in the interview, Jeanie Pyun asks, "What do you think about the fact that Trump's childhood hero and model of sophisticated American masculinity was Hefner?"

In response, Camille Paglia says that before the 2016 presidential election, she "kept point out that the mainstream media based in Manhattan, particularly the New York Times, was hopelessly off in the way it was simplistically viewing Trump as a classic troglodyte misogynist."

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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