Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Sexual Assault and the 2016 Election / PA 15th Congressional Candidate

Written by Richard Copeland, Producer - Smart Talk | Oct 16, 2016 6:00 PM
What to expect on Smart Talk Monday, October 17th:

The narrative of the Presidential race has taken an ugly turn as the focus has shifted from policies and platforms to the history of sexual assault by one candidate and questions regarding the spouse of the other.  A video was recently released showing Republican candidate Donald Trump bragging about committing sexual assault.  His response was to attack Bill Clinton's history, which has forced Americans to examine the proliferation of sexual abuse and the attitudes regarding gender relations.

What is being discounted as "locker room talk" elicits very real and harrowing memories for survivors of rape and sexual assault.  The silver lining of that unpleasant rhetoric may be that Americans are becoming more aware of just how many girls and women are forced to endure and hide this abuse.  The narrative has been pushed to the front, and there is no ignoring it.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape will join us on Smart Talk Monday to discuss the dramatic increase in reports of sexual assault since the release of the Trump video, and the messages that each campaign is imparting to women of all ages.

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Kristen Houser

WITF's Smart Talk is also speaking with state and national candidates for office until November's election.

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Charlie Dent

We will speak with Republican Congressman Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District.  Dent, who is fighting to retain his seat in a three-way race with Democratic challenger Rick Daugherty and Libertarian candidate Paul Rizzo, represents Pennsylvanians from Lebanon, Dauphin. Berks, Lehigh and Northampton Counties.


For Representative Dent:

The Fiduciary rule requires that the interests of the client be placed above the interests of the professional. Nothing wrong with that.                    -Peter 

On sexual violence:

Even using the term you "guys"  is sexist.  What about the gals out here?  We are left out every time that phrase is used.                -Pinky

Isn't the real problem with the locker room talk argument the rest of the tape when they exit the bus and harass the woman by placing her between them etc and also doesn't that defuse trumps Hillary being two faced argument when they talk that way and then greet the lady cordially before harassing her in person         -Chris


Thank you for your program. I am grateful for Ms. Hausers work to give a voice to women's experience of sexual harassment.

I disagree with Ms. Hauser on just one point: I don't think that men know the difference between exploitive, harassing behavior and appropriate behavior. I don't think that all women know the difference. This is parallel to bullying and other kinds of violence in that people who have experienced abuse of any kind, especially at a young, impressionable age, ... these people tend to come to believe that this way of interacting is normal and expected, and so learn to overlook it as a coping mechanism. Women who have experienced abuse often choose partners who are abusive. Men who have experienced abuse are more likely to become abusers than men who haven't. I wonder how many of the women who have supported Trump, i.e., who aren't offended by his disparaging of women and minorities, who say things like that the video was a long time ago and that men just talk like that.... I wonder how many of these female Trump supporters have had male family members and/or male partners who are disparaging, abusive, exploitive, bullying toward women so that it seems normal male behavior.

I would like the men who I care about, and men and women who have normalized a subculture of exploitation, to have healthy male to male conversations and thoughts about women defined, maybe as an on-line promotion campaign, describing the difference between what feels like a compliment to a woman vs what feels unsafe or degrading to a women. This feels parallel to me, on the same continuum, with sex trafficking posters, the book Women who love too much, and the need for women's shelters to teach abused women that they are more valuable than that. Just last week a young female coworker felt harassed by a male client who asked for her number, which may be a huge male-female misunderstanding.                     -Cindy

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