There are many reasons that I will not be voting for Trump in the upcoming presidential election. However, one of the things that bothers me the most about Trump is how he treats other people–especially women. Even if I was in complete support of his politics, as a woman and a feminist, I can not support a man who says the things that he does about women. Here’s why…
He Objectifies and Body Shames
To Donald Trump, women are sex objects. He has been recorded and tweets calling women derogatory terms such as bitch, pussy, fat pig, dog, slob, disgusting, animal, and bimbo. This great article by the UK’s Telegraph tracks some of the sexist and offensive comments Trump has made over the years.
He has even gone so far to sexualize his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, making comments regarding her voluptuous body and attractiveness. In the past he’s said, “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” and most recently during his campaign, “Yeah, [Ivanka]’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…” And an interview that surfaced this spring found him speaking of his other daughter, the then one year old Tiffany, in terms of her future assets. If a man speaks this way about his own daughters, it is not surprising that he sexualizes every other woman he comes across.
Controversy has surrounded Trump’s treatment of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom he called “Miss Piggy” and harshly criticized for gaining weight after the competition. His shaming of her included a televised gym session, in which he said, “This is someone who likes to eat.” Other recipients of his fat shaming include Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez. Last week US Weekly presented a compilation of 12 instances in which Trump has body shamed women in the public eye.
The women Trump likes, or at least finds sexually attractive, have the “good fortune” of being dissected into body parts, with their legs, breasts or butt becoming the whole of who they are. And if he doesn’t like you or thinks you are unworthy of his sexual attention, you will be attacked and shamed for your “shortcomings.”
Trump does not respect women. He has even admitted that himself in a past interview. I have seen no evidence that he recognizes the value of women for anything other then their physical appearance. I don’t want a man in the White House who only values women for their decorative properties and treats them as sex objects.
He Slut Shames
Donald Trump has a history of using a woman’s sex life as a form of attack. A September 30th Time article stated the following, “Trump targeted his opponents according to the classic double-bind of expectations for adult women: They can be called a slut for having sex, or pathetic and frigid if they don’t. Add to that another old sexist trope: If a man cheats on you, it’s your fault.”
In a later deleted re-tweet from 2015, Trump compared Hilary’s ability to satisfy the country to her ability to satisfy her husband, which is in his mind, lacking. He has criticized former Miss Universe Alicia Machado for her sexual past, calling her “disgusting” and claiming the existence of a sex tape, of which no evidence has been found. Angelina Jolie, Rosie O’Donnell, and Arianna Huffington have all also been shamed for what what Trump has determined to be their promiscuity, in the case of the latter, or lack of sexual attractiveness, in the case of the two former.
Yet, Trump, in typical slut shaming fashion embraces a double standard. He has no problem waxing eloquently about his own sexual prowess and exploits in public forums such as radio interviews. While he considers his sex life a source of pride, he uses the private sex lives of women he dislikes as way to shame them.
The virgin/whore dichotomy has been in play for hundreds of years in our society. We do not need a person in the White House that continues to embrace and encourage this double standard.
His Relationship With Sexual Assault
Many voters had been largely not phased by Trump’s sexist “antics,” until last week when a crude and disturbing recording surfaced in which Trump had some very interesting things to say about sexual assault. In fact, he seemed to be bragging and/or joking about past sexual assaults, saying, “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. 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 past days, prominent Republicans have been withdrawing endorsements because his comments in this video are that shocking.
However, although the video is new, Trump’s association with sexual assault is not. He has been accused of sexual assault several times officially, and other accounts of assault such as unwanted kissing have also surfaced. Incidences of sexual harassment have also been rampant at the pageants he used to co-own, his reality TV show The Apprentice, and in his other businesses. He fired or promoted women based on their attractiveness, spent time in the dressing rooms observing naked contestants, and regularly made sexual comments about employees and show contestants.
In September he also tweeted that sexual assault in the military was caused by the fact that there are women in the military, insinuating that women are fact to blame for sexual assault. Whether or not Trump has actually committed sexual assault, his attitudes regarding consent and what constitutes sexual harassment and sexual assault are disturbing in and of themselves.
Trump has been accused of sexual assault, has made sexual assault and harassment into a joke, and victim blames. I don’t want someone in the White House that both perpetuates sexual assault and can not recognize it as a severe issue in our country that needs to be addressed.