"SHE’S not my type". That’s how President Donald Trump shrugged off claims he raped the magazine columnist E Jean Carroll in a department store changing room in the 90s. A characteristically vulgar response, was anyone particularly surprised that the President was seemingly more concerned with getting in a jibe about Ms Carroll’s appearance than refuting the latest sexual assault allegation against him?

It’s not even the first time President Trump has used “but she’s ugly” as a defence. In 2016, after a former magazine journalist accused him of an assault in 2005, he responded: “Look at her, I don’t think so.” Of another woman who claimed he groped her in the 80s, he said: “Believe me – she would not be my first choice.”

Surprising or not, these sort of remarks aren’t normal and dismissing them as such does women an incredible disservice. We shouldn’t live in a world where the former-UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin feels emboldened to double down on comments that he “wouldn’t even rape” MP Jess Philips. Even amid pushback, he added: “I suppose with enough pressure I might cave, but let’s be honest nobody’s got that much beer.” Benjamin still maintains that his only crime was “against political correctness”.

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These are crass moves, sure, but they go beyond mere inelegance. The normalisation of talking about women this way is genuinely dangerous. It sends a gross, skewed sense of entitlement to a certain type of man. If they want them, they can have them; if they don’t, well, then they’re worthless. If that is coming directly from the mouth of the US president - and it has, reflected in his “grab ‘em by the p****” remarks - consider the message that sends to the rest of the world. It certainly doesn’t teach respect, it mobilises a strain of misogyny whereby women are deemed inherently valueless if a man doesn’t want to have sex with them. What the woman wants does not ever enter the equation.

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While the civilised among us would (hopefully) agree that rape ‘jokes’ are not an acceptable social media wisecrack, it is time to acknowledge that these comments promote far more than just bad taste. At its most banal, it normalises the notion you can reduce a woman to her physical attributes whenever you don’t like what she has to say. It is a simple lesson but one that yesterday’s remarks have emphasised the importance of shouting from the rooftops: attractiveness is not a condition basic respect or dignity should be hinged on. Calling a woman ugly is not a rebuttal to her argument, just as finding a woman attractive is not licence to shout sexually suggestive remarks at her on the street.

I defy anyone to imply that the MeToo movement has gone ‘too far’ when the President of the United States can reduce a woman to her looks in the same breath that he dismisses the 15th public sexual misconduct allegation against him since his bid for the White House in 2016. If you think this is another example of political correctness gone mad, consider that maybe you are part of the problem.