I believe it was from the age of 13 through to the age of almost 18 that I would have found myself having discussions with my friends about girls the same way that Donald Trump discussed that woman with Billy Bush in what Trump called his “locker room talk.”
“Woah, steady on there Darrell” I hear you say. You’re admitting to the world that you would have discussions about grabbing a girl by her “pussy?”
Well, no. Teenage me knew better than that. But having said that, I know that when I look back on the day and age that I was going through my adolescence we had an influence on us teenage boys that surely lead many of us astray and taught us things that were totally wrong.
The Eighties was truly a time when coming of age films were themselves, coming of age. Although the movies, well, at least the first one or two in the respective series were released before I was old enough to watch them, movies like Porky’s and Revenge of the Nerds were high on my “must watch” list as the buzz around the school-yard about how good they were was just too much to ignore. Whilst these two films weren’t as coming of age as those that the brat Pack actors starred in, especially those with Molly Ringwold in them, they definitely were movies aimed directly at the adolescent male.
I’m not the first person who, looking back now at those movies in the Eighties is embarrassed by the obvious use of invasion of privacy, sexual assault, date rape, and disgusting language aimed at girls and young woman. From the hidden cameras in the girl’s locker room in Porky’s, to the same situation in the infamous “we’ve got bush” scene in Revenge of the Nerds, Hollywood was more than happy to promote what we now have come to realise was negative behaviour by these boys and young men.
The thing is though, as I’ve already mentioned, the teenage Darrell was well aware that this is not how one should act in real life.
My two best friends through the later part of high school and I were obsessed by a few movies that we acquired on VHS and watched over and over again. We had movies such as History of the World: Part One, Amazon Women on the Moon, some of the Cheech and Chong movies, and our collective favourite, Bachelor Party. There were many memorable lines in these movies, many of which we quoted as our every day vernacular around the neighbourhood, and some that even are quoted to this day.
But there are a few that, when looking back on it, were lines that I’m not too proud to say we would quote. In the interest of decency I’m not going to quote those lines, but there’s one touching and emotional scene during the height of the bachelor party where the main character Rick (Tom Hanks) is talking to his best friend Jay (Adrian Zmed) and in a heartfelt speech when Rick was having second thoughts about getting married, Jay tells Rick the following;
“I wish I had someone who was in my every thought. Somebody I could spend all my time with. Somebody I could really respect.”
And then, when you think that Jay has gone all soft on his mate, he finishes his conversation with this line before walking in the direction of some woman who is off camera…
“Hey, look at the cans on that bimbo!“
And again, although the teenage me laughed, and although I may have quoted that last line or laughed as a friend said it whilst pointing out and ogling some woman’s bust in public, I’m going to suggest that it was my age that, not lets me get away with it, but may act as a justifiable excuse. But as I’ve mentioned, this was in my adolescence, not when I was 59 years old and should have known better… Mr Trump…
The truth was, and still is, I tended to hang around guys who would definitely treat girls with respect. I can remember being at parties, at school, or maybe even hanging out with my friends at the local theme park and when was in my teenage years. It wasn’t solely the domain of the boys to be on the lookout for girls with the girls our own age being on the lookout for boys. This made for interesting times.
I can remember when one of us boys spotted a girl that we thought looked good; of course, physical attraction was high on the check list, no different from the users of Tinder or dating websites these days, but when one of us spotted one we though was cute we may have pointed her out to our friends or just one friend, and if that mate was your wingman, chances are his first response was something along the lines of “I’ll find out if she has a boyfriend.”
There was an etiquette that we followed back then and I hope that it is still followed by the majority of people now; if you’d like to get to know someone for them to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, give them enough respect by leaving them the fuck alone if they already have someone they are seeing. That’s something that Trump could learn from.
I remember when I was 15 years old and, although I was still three to four years away from graduating from high school, I was starting to think about having a serious girlfriend. The thing that I used to think about, and I know that my friends felt the same at that age, you don’t go and talk all disrespectful about girls because potentially you are showing disdain for someone who could potentially be your future wife. And for at least one of my high school friends, this became a reality when he married his high school sweetheart with whom he’d been together with from the age of about 16 years old.
Sure there were plenty of times when we would say amongst ourselves “check out that hot chick,” “oh man, look at that babe,” and, yes, there were even times when we may have used lines like “I’d definitely screw her,” but that was when we were kids.
But as we grew older, as many of us got married off, then separated or divorced, or for some, they stayed single, but the way we would point out women to each other was completely different.
“Did you see the one in the red dress? She’s cute…”
There were plenty of times when I may have spoken those words, albeit with the colour of the dress or the the style of the clothing changing.
And as many of us matured, there were still one or two guys amongst our tribe of mates who may have thought that we were still living in the Eighties. It was just over six years ago that one of our friends had his own bachelor party, where the day was spent aboard a bus that took us from the buck’s home to a coastal town up north which saw us make many stops at pubs along the way, and with half a pallet of beers on the bus itself being consumed along the way as well.
Although we had a lot to drink that day, and into the evening, never once did any of us feel the need to yell out and be disrespectful to women who may have crossed out path that day.
Sadly for me and one of my close mates, the night was marred by something one of the singles guys said at the nightclub. As the majority of us were married or in relationships, picking up was not on our radar. However, as we danced the night away my mate and I took to the mini stages with poles going from the ceiling to the stage and we put on a little (unsexy) show pretending to be (fully clothed) strippers. This was noticed by two rather good looking women who asked if they could join in and dance with us.
We agreed and continued to dance around the poles, not making any contact, and the shy guy that I am, not making any eye contact with the young lady sharing my stage. After a few songs my mate and I decided it was time to get another drink, thanked the girls for the dance, and made our way to the bar. It was at this time that one of the guys came up to us and said something along the lines of;
“Man I am jealous of you two. You are both married to good looking wives and still you have the hottest bitches in the club come up to you and ask to dance. Why don’t I get the bitches you guys do?”
I looked at my mate. He looked back at me rolling his eyes. I can’t remember which one of us started replying to his question, but it felt just like a movie where a obviously scripted line was delivered in unison…
“Calling women bitches might be the reason you don’t get any…”
Maybe because of the fact that we both have wives, or that my mate has a daughter, or the fact that we both have so many female friends, but whatever the reason, we let him know that this sort of language wasn’t acceptable.
It’s not acceptable in a nightclub.
It’s not acceptable on the street.
And it is not even acceptable in a locker room.
It’s just not locker room talk that any guy I know would be proud to be a part of (well, maybe that one guy).
You can talk about how good you think a woman or even a man looks. That may even be the one and only thing that attracts you to them. But you should never, ever, ever talk about that person the way Donald Trump talked about that woman back in 2005.