“Most people were simply enjoying a kick-ass view from the bar, watching the ocean”
A view of the locker room at Trump's course in Westchester County, New York. (Image via http://www.trumpnationalwestchester.com/)
Were Donald Trump’s comments about kissing women and “grabbing them by the p----” really just “locker-room talk,” as he asserts?
Professional athletes already have come out against the characterization, asserting that the type of language Trump used isn’t heard in pro locker rooms—and even if it were, it wouldn’t be acceptable. Still, Trump’s comments are but an extreme example of the sometimes-sexist hypermasculinity bred in men’s locker rooms, which recent studies have shown is central to college athletes’ social development in those environments.
But those are 20-year-olds, not 70-year-olds. So the question remains: What about the locker rooms Trump might be more accustomed to using?
Trump owns 17 golf courses, about which he often boasts of their high-level quality. Included in each of these clubs are locker rooms that Trump is very proud of—so proud, in fact, that he gives tours of his women’s locker rooms while they are occupied. (On that occasion, he reportedly checked with an attendant before entering to ensure no one was undressed—though accusations exist regarding him strolling into locker rooms during his pageants while contestants were changing outfits.)
Trump’s golf course clubhouse locker rooms are are so beloved that lotteries have been held to determine locker assignment at Trump resorts.
One course in particular has been in the news lately, as allegations that Trump said that some hostesses at his Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, “weren’t pretty enough,” forcing managers to scramble to schedule “the most attractive women” to work when Trump was visiting.
The course, according to the Los Angeles Times, is Trump’s largest real estate holding in Southern California and boasts of top-notch amenities and spectacular views—and without question, the scenery is stunning.
According to the website’s description of the locker rooms, Trump National Los Angeles is:
Offering lockers and shower facilities, our stately locker rooms are elegantly decorated and offer guests an area to freshen up or prepare for their round.
The lockers at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester sport even more amenities:
Superbly appointed locker rooms are a welcome respite from spirited competition. Changing facilities and lounges join an array of spa services including steam and massage, all in an atmosphere that revives the spirit.
But what about the language and behavior? Are these the scenes where the infamous “locker-room talk” takes place?
GOOD spoke to a recreational golfer who has played at the course multiple times and is a member of another club in the Greater Los Angeles area. He did not wish to be identified by name, but we can say he is an adult white male who is married and has children.
He says on the occasions he has played the course, the locker room and clubhouse have been very quiet. Only the restaurant and bar areas typically had conversation, and that usually included golfers talking about their just-completed rounds.
“Most people were simply enjoying a kick-ass view from the bar, watching the ocean,” he said.
A view from Trump National Los Angeles. (Image via Flickr)
The golfer described the course overall as difficult, but classy and high-end.
“I have nothing but good things to say (about the course),” adding that in his years at his own club and playing at others in the area, “I have never heard any racial or gender disrespect.”
This seems to indicate, based on the robust sample size of one person, that the “locker-room talk” of which Trump speaks isn’t a constant presence in his own locker rooms. Maybe things were different in the locker room of Trump’s United States Football League team, the New Jersey Generals, in the ’80s?