March 04, 2016
Do you want to know how big Donald Trump’s penis is?
I don’t. Maybe you do. I doubt it. But life’s a carnival, and we all see it through personalized prisms.
Here’s the thing, though: A lot of people are talking about Donald Trump’s penis today because Donald Trump slyly referred to his penis during a nationally (cable) televised presidential debate on Thursday night.
Men will be boys and boys will be fixated on totems of masculinity that boost self-confidence, I suppose.
Take a moment to let those words sink in: A man seeking the most important job on the face of the Earth engaged in locker-room banter before the eyes of the world. I trust you see the inherent problem with that, insofar as the size of Donald Trump’s penis in no way helps remedy the ills that face our nation.
That’s not to say I don’t understand why Donald Trump referred to Donald Trump’s penis during the FoxNews debate in Detroit, some 70 miles away from a city where children were subjected to contaminated drinking water.
Here’s the tl;dr rationale: Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter exposed Trump’s proverbial Achilles' heel when he shared word of the latter’s penchant for recoiling when people mention the perceived stubbiness of his fingers, and how that reflects the size of other things.
Though an old adage sets hand size as reflective of penile size, a study published in the British Journal of Urology International found that is not, in fact, the case, and Snopes concurred. But men will be boys and boys will be fixated on totems of masculinity that boost self-confidence, I suppose.
So, when candidate Marco Rubio made a “hand” joke at Trump’s expense earlier this week – he didn’t comment on the size of Donald Trump’s penis, but wink-nudged it and then made a reference to “trust” – Thursday night’s response became an inevitability.
Here’s hoping that’s where the penis talk ends, though judging by the sideshow vibe the Republican race has taken on, that’s probably a pipe dream.
This is especially true because Trump’s foes are getting more desperate by the day, and the whole small hands thing has proven to essentially be the front-runner’s lone weakness. It’s the easiest way to get him flustered (though his Thursday response was anything but rabid), and a trailing campaign needs any advantage it can get.
While I like watching Trump squirm as much as the next gal or guy, this whole penis game is morally no better than political observers talking about the breasts of Hillary Clinton or Carly Fiorina. (Melania Trump's photo-spreads exempt her from this protection, hubba hubba.)
That’s not exactly a fair comparison, what with breast size being more publicly-ish comparable than what the GOP lads are snickering about. With guys, though, penises and their size often take on a more deep-seated importance. Heck, some say motorcycles and guns are merely penile extension devices.
When I nearly got killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2008, among my weightiest concerns when I came to was penile-related. It had nothing to do with size – there’s “no problem” there [insert wink emoji here] – and everything to do with reproductive ability. If there had been an issue, I worry that I’d feel less whole, less worthy, less of a man.
That’s wrong, but that was my reality. That was more important to me than whether surgeons would replace the skull flaps they removed to let my brain heal. Seriously. I’m certain I’m not alone in having stories that speak to assessing outsized importance along those lines.
That all but certainly plays into overcompensation in all facets of life for many men. This includes pursuit of war. Hell, the fact that Hillary Clinton will definitely lose votes because she doesn’t have a penis is proof positive of that.
Just because Donald Trump is sensitive about the size of his hands and/or penis doesn't mean we should mock him. When we reduce people to body-part discussions, we’re no better than teens bullying teens in the high-school locker room.
That it took a political bully getting bullied to spark this discussion may be this election cycle's most damning aspect of all.