> On the Left (e.g. Metafilter and Twitter), many expressed surprise that [Trump's harassment-bragging video], appalling as it may be, is the bridge too far for the Right, and are spinning hypotheses as to why this, and not any of the other reprehensible things he's been recorded saying, is what provoked the Right's rejection. [...]
> How one hears what is in that audio recording depends on at least two things. One of them is what one believes constitutes unacceptable sexual behavior. [...]
> For most of human history men were people and women were either the property of people or unclaimed property, like a lost $100 lying on the ground. Here in the US, we inherited English common law, under which the doctrine of coverture a wife was legally a "chattel" of her husband. "Chattel" is a confusing word for moderns. It's a technical legal term meaning "property that's not real estate", and has passed into discussions of history as a euphemism. Since most people don't know the technical definition of "chattel" the term serves well to allow people to discuss the historical legal status of women without actually confronting the ugly truth that word indicates: women were property.
> In societies in which women legally are (or socially are regarded as) property, their value is reckoned in terms of their value as livestock: the labor they can perform, the obedience they demonstrate, and, above all, the offspring they can produce. Since the value of those offspring to their owners in such patriarchal societies is mediated by the certainty of those offsprings' paternity, men in such societies or otherwise of that mindset understand themselves, both individually and as a demographic, to have enormous interest – financial interest – in controlling women's sexual contacts. This results, obviously, in various attempts to control women's sexual behavior, and curtailing women's liberty in general. But – and I think this is much less obvious to modern liberal Westerner – it also shaped legal and moral policy around men's conduct: Thou, presumed male audience, shalt not covet thy (also presumed male) neighbor's wife, neither shalt thou covet his house, his male slave, nor his female slave, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
> Rape has approximately always been illegal. But it has only recently in the West become regarded as a crime of violence against the person, usually female, it is done to. Historically, it was primarily a property crime, against the person who owned the person it was done to. To put it crudely, rape was the crime of unlawful breeding of someone else's livestock. Rape was a crime because it spoiled the incontestability of paternity of any subsequent offspring – it ruined, for the owner, the carefully cultivated sexual containment of their breeding stock. [...]
> A lot of women (and a lot of men) seem surprised to see Republicans object to women being treated as Trump describes treating them in that recording. That seems to be way more consideration for women than they ever expected to see on the Right. Don't worry: in many cases, it is not consideration for women at all.
> Many – not all, but Mitt Romney, I'm looking right at you – men on the Right who are recoiling in righteous indignation aren't doing it because Trump did something to a woman, or even (as some observed) a white woman.
> Oh, you sweet summer children. He did it to a married woman.
> The line too far is that he macked on some other bro's bitch.