To the editor: While the post-audiotape furor has focused on how Donald Trump spoke in 2005 about his indefensible behavior toward women, I would argue that the choice made by Billy Bush, the man to whom Trump made his comments, presents the greatest challenge to men. It is a challenge most of us have faced and to which we have failed to rise. ("Trump shows little remorse in his return to the trail after controversy over leaked remarks," Oct. 10)
When we hear men denigrating girls and women, we have a choice to intercede, to call them on it and, in doing so, to take responsibility in proclaiming the dignity and humanity of all people. The other choice is to embrace this "locker-room banter" and stake our place within a status quo that causes real damage both to individual human lives and to society.
The best in manhood is found in real, caring, three-dimensional men, not in adult-sized male children.
Joshua Lazerson, Encinitas
To the editor: As a woman who has been grabbed "by the p—," Trump's egregious remarks about assaulting women made me sick to my stomach. Perhaps more troubling have been claims by Trump supporters that such conduct is so commonplace among American men that we should just wink and accept it as innocuous guy talk.
It seems to me that there are two victims here: women and civilized society's expectation that a decent American man must treat women with dignity and respect.
Lorraine Gayer, Huntington Beach
To the editor: It took the release of crude and insulting comments finally to turn some high-ranking Republicans against Trump. Good for them for standing up for common decency.
I noted some demanded an apology to their wives and daughters. How about demanding an apology for your sons as well? Or better yet, how about using this particular incident to teach your sons what it means to be a decent human being who does not denigrate women or anyone else?
We live in what is sometimes called a "rape culture" where "boys will be boys." We spend a lot of energy and words protecting our daughters and wives. How about some effort to teach our sons so that we can end this rape culture?
Laurie Jacobs, San Clemente
To the editor: The entire Republican leadership will come to see Trump's latest outrage as a gift from above.
Trump was going to lose the election, but now rather than the focus of the loss being on the racism the Republican leadership emboldened, encouraged and embraced these last 7 1/2 years, that loss will be attributed to the video of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Not a single Republican leader will be held to account for nourishing that most shameful national heirloom, racism.
Worse, the racist card will survive to be replayed whenever needed in the future.
Patrick Johnston, Newport Beach
To the editor: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said after the recording's release on Friday that he will not vote for Trump.
So, Schwarzenegger has credibility on this issue? I appreciate the laugh.
Diane Thornton, Los Angeles