Thursday, October 13, 2016

Locker Room Banter

Kinda thinking about Trump's excuse for his extremely rude and reprehensible comments about grabbing women by the genitals and hitting on married women, and how he blames it on "locker room" banter.

Now, I don't have much experience in a locker room. But I come close in that I spent a lot of time in a close equivalent. The berthing compartments of the two ships I served in. You Army, and Marine Corps types can substitute barracks, Air Force types can substitute luxury penthouse apartments.

Like a locker room, these spaces are full of young guys in their 20's and 30's full of testosterone talking loudly and smoking like chimneys throwing four-letter words around and doing a lot of bitching and complaining about whatever was on their minds.  We lived in very close quarters. Picture two dozen smelly loud cursing sailors stacked up in three high bunks in a space about the size of a large living room.

We talked mostly about the job, which in my case was working 12-16 hours a day at sea in food service in a hot, smelly galley surrounded by equipment that could cut, burn or crush an unwary squid who wasn't watching what he was doing, and back in the early and mid '80s, it was strictly guys, women were not allowed on front line warships. Guys would bitch about the incompetence of the higher ups, how the medical dept screwed up their medical records, or the disbursing clerk screwed up their pay, crewmen who would bitch about the food while lining up for seconds, or whatever bug got up their collective asses that day. A bitching sailors was a happy sailor.

And occasionally there would be not-so complimentary talk about women. Mostly about chasing girls in the next upcoming liberty port or reuniting with wives, girlfriends, etc once we got back home.  It was a general rule that you didn't talk about a buddy's wife or girlfriend or sister or mother in an uncomplimentary manner. More than a few fights started that way.

Unless the buddy in question found got a 'Dear John' letter, then it was bombs away.

I don't remember any talk about grabbing women by the genitals or moving on married women or subjecting women to any kind of abuse in the berthing talk that I was involved in. Not saying that it didn't happen. And I certainly do NOT condone what Trump said. But then again, none of us were dumb enough to say stuff like that into a hot mike. 

The berthing was not a very PC place. It could get pretty raunchy, a lot of shit was talked and a lot of four letter words were used as nouns, verbs, adjectives,adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and gerunds.