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What Does Being a Man’s ‘Type’ Have to Do With Harassment and Rape?

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President Donald Trump walks to reporters before leaving the White House for the G20 summit on June 26th, 2019.

Last week, the writer E. Jean Carroll became the 22nd woman, at least, to accuse President Donald Trump of sexual harassment or assault. In an excerpt from her upcoming book, published in New York, Carroll describes running into Trump in a Bergdorf’s department store in the 1990s, and then going with him into a dressing room, after he suggested it. Once in the room, Trump pushed her against the wall and raped her, before she was able to shove him off and flee, she writes.

In response, Trump laid out a singular defense in an interview with the Hill. “I’ll say it with great respect: No. 1, she’s not my type,” he said. “No. 2, it never happened.”

Trump‘s “not my type” remark suggests he wouldn’t have assaulted Carroll because he wasn’t attracted to her. It brings to mind a long-standing hypothesis about sexual harassment: that it’s the result of natural, biological urges, particularly among men who are attracted to women. But over the past few decades, many studies have shown that sexual harassment often isn’t about attraction. Instead, it’s a reaction, from some men, to women who seem threatening: because they have personality traits that seem masculine, such as being assertive or ambitious; because they say they plan to compete with men; because the men have been reminded that women can sometimes be better than men.

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Thanks !

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