Why Is It OK to Mock Trump's Privates? | Opinion

We’re getting there aren’t we? There’s a slow shift, the platelets of compassion are moving, aligning, and we’re finally understanding that our words have consequences. Those willing to sunbathe on the wrong side of history call it the age of the snowflake, do air quotes when they say “woke,” or mourn free speech, but the fact is that “shaming”—lampooning, criticizing, or judging someone because of their kinks, looks, or physical attributes—is no longer acceptable. Unless… well.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to live in a dark cave with no hint of wifi over the last few days, you’ll be blissfully unaware that a certain prominent male’s member has been making headlines and storylining nightmares thanks to its distinctive appearance. This penis could only belong to one man, Donald Trump, and thanks to Full Disclosure, a new book written by his leading nemesis, adult movie actress Stormy Daniels, we’ve been treated to a full description.

In a leaked section of the book, Daniels says: “His penis is distinctive in a certain way. He knows he has an unusual penis.” Already you may be screaming STOP at your screen, but I’m afraid full disclosure is as full disclosure does. Daniels goes on: “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool.” The “mushroom character in Mario Kart”—an enchanted, sentient toadstool called Toad, for any non-gamers out there—is mentioned as a potential doppelgänger.

The internet responded as only the internet can when faced with a political scandal that doesn’t take much reading into. Social media got to work producing memes, jokes, reactions, and all kinds of scenarios. And while it’s funny to have a dig at someone who takes himself so desperately seriously that he’d sue the joke in a Christmas cracker if it made him laugh, is this a road worth going down?

Since being handed the keys to the White House, Trump’s appearance has been the go-to for a quick snark fix. His weight, his, um, iridescent amber glow, that candy floss combover, the red ties dangling to his knees, his angry, puckered expression—there is barely one crevice of his (apparently surprisingly tall) frame that hasn’t come under scrutiny. But in a world where we discourage any commentary on a person’s body that could cause them harm or distress, are we guilty of a double standard when it comes to Trump?

Is it ever OK to reference the size of an ex’s penis, or their sexual performance, once the relationship is over? Has Stormy Daniels gone too far? What does it say to guys out there who may be the wokest of liberals but also have a body like Trump? Is it acceptable to go in on someone’s looks just because they’re not a good person? And who decides who’s good and who isn’t? Is the right way to deal with a bully simply to tear apart his looks, rather than focus on the hard stuff? Should we feel sympathy for Melania, who would have given birth just months before the alleged affair took place? Quite the conundrum. Harder when it’s someone you don’t care for, isn’t it?

GettyImages-1036109496 U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House September 19, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images

It’s true that when it comes to criticism and accountability, Trump is seemingly untouchable. Scandals that would finish any number of world leaders ricochet off him, right back to his accusers. No amount of shocking statements, outright mockery of people less fortunate, racism and sexually charged misogyny seem to touch him—if anything they appear to embolden him and his supporters.

Perhaps this is why critics need to get personal with Trump; nothing else seems to rock the boat. Would we be laughing if the situation was reversed, and a prominent female politician's genitals was the hot topic of the day? Of course we wouldn't, but that's a false equivalence—there's no such thing as a level playing field and in situations like this, you have to look at the bigger picture and tilt accordingly. Trump has made his name in the humiliation of others, and with each successive scandal becoming "rubber and glue"—bounces off him, but sticks to you—it's only natural to search for other ways to score a direct hit.

The real problem with making the shape and size of his genitals the story is it’s a distraction from the egregious stuff going on behind the scenes. In her book, Stormy Daniels details very shady events based on trying to silence her—cash settlements and NDAs, strangers approaching her in car parks with cryptic threats—and while we happily meme away, laughing at the "mushroom," waiting for the president’s next Twitter brain-melt, the noxious cogs of his machines keep on whirring.

The former First Lady Michelle Obama famously said during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, “When they go low, we go high” but it seems we’re playing right into Trump’s hands by joining him in the gutter, talking in language he understands. He judges people on appearances, and uses his power to demean and belittle, and although he may be momentarily angry about Daniels’s revelations, he’ll get over it—he always does—and we’ll be the ones blurting out, “but his penis” and feeling even more short-changed than Daniels herself.

There is a strong argument that someone with so little regard for women’s bodies doesn’t deserve any control or privacy over his own—and goodness knows we are in need of some light relief during this dry run for the apocalypse—but while it’s fun to imagine him red-faced and furious, this story will be swept away with the next tide. Our focus should not be on the superficial Trump titbits that wash ashore, but the dark, catastrophic danger that lurks in the deep.

Hopefully, though, this latest revelation will lead to more attention on the way he operates, uncovering something more substantial, more damaging, than the contents of his underwear.

Justin Myers is a freelance journalist, columnist and author who lives in London. His novel The Last Romeo is out now and he's on Twitter twitter.com/theguyliner.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​

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