In 2009, with the roll out of the film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Tucker Max set the gold standard for douchey behavior. The film was marketed by intentionally riling up activist groups, insulting every type of person imaginable, and giving rise to what has now become known as “rape culture.” One of the stories from the book that the film is based on starts like this:
We all have dreams. Martin Luther King dreamt of racial harmony. Larry Hagman dreamt of Jeannie. For over a decade, I dreamt of fucking a midget.
Max goes on to say wonderful things about women like:
“Your gender is hardwired for whoredom.”
“I’d rather mainline Drano than listen to another minute of your whore prattle.”
“We can’t all go after the girl with low self-esteem.”
Believe it or not, this stuff was controversial once upon a time, but then along came Donald Trump. In the ensuing piece I’d like you to identify who said what. Was it Tucker Max or Donald Trump? This won’t be nearly as much fun as you think it will be and will probably offend many, many people. That’s good. It should. Both men are a national disgrace.
1) She had “blood coming out of her whatever.”
2) “I danced with them for an hour, giving them seductive looks, coyly flirting with them, seductively telling them how much I cared about them. And they responded to everything I offered by offering it back. Every smile was met with a smile, every caress with an equal response.
In my eyes, I finally found someone that I was in love with.
I was too drunk to realize this at the time, but my friends were watching me the whole time…and all they saw was me dancing in front of a huge mirror.
3) “I am a tremendous fan” of disabled people
4) “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
5) “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
6) “The most difficult aspect of the prenuptial agreement is informing your future wife (or husband): I love you very much, but just in case things don’t work out, this is what you will get in the divorce. There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else. The other is the calculating woman who refuses to sign the prenuptial agreement because she is expecting to take advantage of the poor, unsuspecting sucker she’s got in her grasp. There is also the woman who will openly and quickly sign a prenuptial agreement in order to make a quick hit and take the money given to her.”
7) “Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.”
8) “While Bette Midler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.”
9) “My favorite part [of ‘Pulp Fiction’] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: ‘Bitch be cool.’ I love those lines.”
10) “All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
Just one of those quotes was Tucker Max. You can probably guess which one it is as Donald Trump does not dance.
The point of this isn’t to point out just how much of a misogynist Trump is, but to show that this pattern of behavior is not a new development in American pop culture, it’s just a new development in American politics. Most people who make fun of disabled people on TV have a hard time finding work afterwords. And so would Trump, frankly, if he were normal like the rest of us. Most of us can’t just make up lies about 9/11 because we feel like it. Nor can we insist that all Mexican immigrants are criminals, drugrunners or bad people. There is a certain degree of decency in our every day discourse – that is our conversations with other human beings – that Trump simply does not understand. This isn’t because Trump is a megalomaniac, although he is. This has nothing to do with Trump’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Trump’s issues with decency have to do with the fact that he’s never had to participate in a real world discussion about anything other than himself. This is where Max’s work and Trump’s campaign seem like mirror images of each other.
A comment like: “she wasn’t a plus-size model, so I guess she was bulimic” is too smart to come from Trump, but imagine this line coming from Trump if he hadn’t been born into wealth: “I did a couple of other stupid things in the next few days; I can’t really remember because they were things that don’t even register on my radar as “events”, yet others found them to be “seismic.” For instance, one day, one of the recruiters came into my office, when I was on the phone. She asked who I was talking too, and I said, “Oh, I was just calling a porn line.” Obviously, I was kidding; I later found out she was mortified.”
Notice how the narcissist makes everything about him. Think about Trump’s comments about his daughter, Ivanka and really you should just read this piece about how in love with her she is, it will creep you out. Compare that to what Max writes about a woman he hung out with: “There is no category that Sally falls into that I have not slept with before; I have hooked up with women as old as Sally, uglier, more married, more children, everything. Shit, I have a hard time counting the times I’ve turned down sex at all, unless the girl was ugly and my friends were around.” The amount of narcissism floating around here is palpable.
I’m not freaking out about Trump. I’m more taking in the moment than anything else. This is one of those times in history where our grandkids will ask us where we were when this happened. People will ask how we didn’t immediately stand up and stop him. The problem with living through this moment though is that the kind of rhetoric that Trump is using and the disdain that he has for his fellow man has been normalized into our culture. Men like Tucker Max have made it acceptable to say deplorable things about women. It is because Max came before Trump that Trump isn’t seen as being that out there on women. Because my generation has had a decade to absorb this kind of shock jock culture of defamatory comments toward women some don’t see Trump as being the monster he really is. What will the next generation say about us?