Donald Trump's leaked audio isn't just horrifying because he's running for president.

The tape is horrifying.

On Friday, the Washington Post shared shocking footage of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump caught with a hot mic during a 2005 taping of "Access Hollywood." The Post called it an "extremely lewd conversation," but that's putting it kindly.

In part, the audio reveals Trump discussing failed sexual advances made on a married woman. "I moved on her like a bitch," he says.


"I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them," he later says, speaking to then-host of "Access Hollywood," Billy Bush. "It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."

In the hours since the tape's release, a handful of Republicans have called on Trump to drop out of the presidential race, with the election now just a month away.

The tape isn't just horrifying because Donald Trump made "lewd remarks." It's horrifying because he bragged about committing sexual assault.

Some of the early responses from Trump's supporters center around the use of words like "fuck," "bitch," "tits," and "pussy" — but that's missing the point. Is it unseemly and unpresidential to use that kind of language? Probably. Is it misogynistic to talk about women like that? Sure. But that's not what has people in an uproar over this tape — no matter how hard those who still support him will try to make it out to be.

Even if you ignore the words Donald Trump is using, there's still the matter of the action he says he takes when he sees a beautiful woman:

"It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything."

What he's describing is sexual assault. This isn't about prudishness or being "conservative about sex." This is about a presidential candidate openly admitting that he sexually assaults women, and he uses his position of power to do so. Even more damning, women have gone on record claiming that, yes, Donald Trump actually did these things to them. Meaning what he says on that tape is not just talk.

First, there's the story of Jill Harth, reported earlier this year by The Guardian's Lucia Graves.

Not to mention the story of Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, which was reported earlier this year by the New York Times' Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey.

Last night, during a live broadcast, CNN's Erin Burnett told the story about a time Trump tried to kiss one of her friends.

The married woman being described at the beginning of the leaked tape is reported to be former "Access Hollywood" co-anchor Nancy O'Dell. It's now being reported that Trump tried to fire O'Dell from her job hosting the Miss USA pageant in 2007 because she was pregnant.

So, no, the uproar over this take is not just about what Trump said. It's about what Trump did.

The tape isn't just horrifying because Trump is running for president. It's horrifying because men do the things he described on the tape all the time.

After the tape was made public, writer Kelly Oxford asked her followers to share their stories of being sexually assaulted. In a powerful string of tweets, she shared the stories of five times men groped her when she was between the ages of 12 and 16.

This isn't something that can be dismissed as "locker room banter." This is something that really happens, that women experience at the hands of men like Trump, and we're being asked to elect a man president who condones this? We, as a nation, are better than that.

The tape isn't just horrifying because women are "our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, and our wives." It's horrifying because women are people who deserve respect.

It's heartening to see there are so many people willing to condemn Donald Trump's words and the actions he described. It's less heartening to see that the reason given by many of them only seems to position women in the context of their relationship to men.

It's something that many well-meaning people have said over the years (in 2013, President Obama even mentioned women as "wives, mothers, and daughters" during his State of the Union address).

The fact remains that women should be treated with respect for the same reason men are treated with respect; they should be treated with respect for the same reason people of different genders, races, sexual orientations, national origins, and religions should be treated with respect.

They should be treated with respect because they are human. Whether or not a woman is a man's wife or daughter or mother or aunt or niece should play no role in whether or not they're deserving of respect and safety in the world.

So, yes, this tape is horrifying, but our response to it doesn't have to be.

Donald Trump, a man who began his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, a man who floated the idea of banning Muslims from the country, a man who just this week renewed his call for the execution of five innocent men of color, might be undone by an 11-year-old tape.

It sure looks like that might be the case and that should make us all reflect on how we got here.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

Why is it that when this man was calling for taking health care away from millions so many were silent? Why is it that when he attacked people of color that so many looked the other way? Why is it that when he vowed to rescind LGBTQ rights so many sat unfazed? Why is that when the stories of the women he's allegedly assaulted were reported on earlier in this election cycle, their stories made barely a blip in the news at large?

We have to be better than that, and we can be. It starts by learning, and it ends with action.

Even if your support for a candidate is rooted in the pain of economic turmoil, and even if the thought of a political revolution led by an outsider who can fix things has seemed appealing this far, now is the time to look inward and ask whether this is the man — someone so totally lacking in empathy for others — we want to elect as our president. This can be a great human moment where we come together to reject sexism, misogyny, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia in all its forms, in our a country and in our world.

via PeopleStanding / Instagram

One of the best things about social media is that there are some pages that deputize the general public to find great content and submit it to be published. It's like harnessing a mind-hive of funny to create a place where it can be enjoyed by everyone.

The People Standing page on Instagram is a great example of this type of crowdsourcing for comedy. The site has over 140,000 followers and features candid, user-submitted pictures of people standing awkwardly that were taken all over the globe.

Here are 17 of the best.

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via PeopleStanding / Instagram

One of the best things about social media is that there are some pages that deputize the general public to find great content and submit it to be published. It's like harnessing a mind-hive of funny to create a place where it can be enjoyed by everyone.

The People Standing page on Instagram is a great example of this type of crowdsourcing for comedy. The site has over 140,000 followers and features candid, user-submitted pictures of people standing awkwardly that were taken all over the globe.

Here are 17 of the best.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."