Donald Trump Is Afraid Of Women.
Drunk on power, the president’s misogyny is raping American judgment and buttressing the glass ceiling for women.
dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
The interview commenced with a fair and open warning by Lesley Stahl, “you’re okay with some tough questions?” she asked smiling. To assume a sitting President less than ten days before an election, trailing in the polls, concurrently swatting the flies of skyrocketing COVID cases and unemployment numbers would expect anything less than tough questions would be asking too much.
“You’ll be fair.” He responded.
That was the last respectful thing he said to her. By now, you’ve seen the interview. And over the course of this pandemic, with our lives, future, and government under an electron microscopic view, the accepted misogyny of this president, and further, that of the Republican party deserves our undivided, bi-partisan attention. The mistreatment, assault, aggression, dismissiveness, and overt, callous disrespect has never been more clear. Donald Trump hates women.
Lesley Stahl is seventy-eight years old. Women had the right to vote for a mere twenty years when she was born. She has worked for CBS for almost fifty years. She has been interviewing for CBS’s 60 Minutes since 1991. She’s a pro. However, the she is the biggest issue. (Note: the fact that I must present context for Lesley’s qualifications as a journalist to make a case for the unjustness of her treatment outside of her sex, is indicative of the problem.)
Donald Trump doesn’t like tough questions. We’ve learned this of late. He does not like to be challenged. He does not like to engage in discourse, think critically, or avail himself to any perceived shortcomings or failures. He struggles with journalists of substantial intellect. Enter Wallace, Guthrie, Stahl, and Welker. And he certainly will not do this when being questioned by a woman.
In the last two weeks, Donald Trump has gone after women. He’s been going after women, personally attacking them since his first presidential run. It took four years for us to realize that Hillary’s emails were not about her emails. It was a ploy of an insecure man to discredit a superior woman who was unafraid to put herself in the arena. A woman who was forced to parry the sexist blows with calmness and demure affectation.
It’s clear how much he longs to be adored, and the clear disdain most women have for him comes out in these egregious pleas for affection.
“So can I ask you to do me a favor? Suburban women, will you please like me? I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?” — Donald J. Trump
Donald Trump channels his best Biff Tannen on a regular basis. He pushes himself into the laps of middle American women and when shunned, like any petulant high school boy, he resorts to verbal violence. He did it to Savannah Guthrie after his town hall.
“Somebody going totally crazy.” was how she was described by the president.
What happened after the debate is alarming. The unfortunate genius of Google’s data harvesting revealed itself for when you typed Savannah Guthrie’s name into the search bar, the word bitch auto-populated. That was how many times she was plugged into the search engine with that word. She was raked across the coals of presidential disparagement. Death threats from the base. The vitriolic-fueled hatred lasered at Guthrie for attempting to level difficult questions at the president devolved into mob-like internet assault. The MAGA Luftwaffe carpet-bombed Guthrie, more as a woman and less as a competent lawyer turned journalist looking for some sign of human life behind the orange palor of a closeted dictator.
Chris Wallace, who challenged, stifled, interrupted, and at one point snapped at the president didn’t receive nearly the backlash that Guthrie did. However, we still aren’t making enough out of Trump’s latent, ahem, blatant in your face, get in your face sexism.
“That’s no way to talk.” — Donald Trump to Lesley Stahl
The typical in-the-moment belittling the president relegates himself to is truly the definition of falling to the level of his training. When cornered by a strong woman, Trump goes limp. He goes to one of his big three defenses: A.) Existential filibuster regaling false success. B.) Personal attack and mockery. C.) Deny and deflect blame to some other party who isn’t present.
We’ve become desensitized to this behavior. Grabbing pussy, double-digit sexual assault claims, and thickening up our tolerance for this vociferous hunger to dehumanize. We’re the unblinking sheep.
Following his blitzkrieg on Lesley Stahl, he said Kristen Welker, moderator for the final presidential debate “is far worse.” She had come under right-wing attack before the debate as being “extremely unfair” and “a radical Democrat.” This is par for the Mar-a-Lago course when being faced with competent women.
However, Welker, mute button in hand, defused, de-escalated, and disarmed the president quite handily during the debate to his surprise, stating, “So far, I respect very much the way you’re handling this.” Welker should consider getting this turned into a plaque and hang it behind her desk, as those may have been the most considerate words spoken to a female by this president as of late. “I respect very much” is off the charts for the commander in chief.
Trump has continually normalized sexism and misogyny. Kamala Harris was not saved from this. She’s a “monster” according to Trump. He’s still bent on “crooked” Hillary. His constant battles with “crazy” Nancy Pelosi. Trump is clearly afraid of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who didn’t heed his warning and go back to her country. This behavior we teach our daughters to abhor. As a father, I will spend the rest of my life building my daughter up, strengthening her resolve to the abuses, passive and aggressive because she is held to the unfair standard of being a woman. But she too will persist.
And still, the glass ceiling that is very much intact in American history is being buttressed by a President who is unwilling to accept the future is female. Women have long been the silent backbone of this country and it is long overdue for us to welcome true equality.
Anecdotes are the subtext for the larger implications of a president who does not respect women. His base loves it. Whether they’re chanting “lock her up” at a rally or trying to kidnap and murder that “woman from Michigan”, there is no end to the litany of his public transgressions. There is danger in the leader of the free world wielding this type of rhetoric. Over the last four years, Trump has normalized the most inexcusable behavior. And to be clear, power has a lot to do with it.
Women have been held to an unbelievable double standard throughout this time of Trumpism. I can drone on about the incidents, but what should be examined is the behavior and standards women are expected to uphold while weathering these blistering indictments. All of the women in this article should be applauded for their demeanor. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t want more responses like Guthrie’s.
“You’re the President, you’re not like someone’s crazy uncle.” — Savannah Guthrie
Kamala Harris, in the Vice Presidential debate, smiled, abided time, deferred to the interruptions of Pence, and ultimately played by the rules. Pence talked well over his time, dismissed Harris repeatedly, and behaved as most men do in situations where they’re an outmatched-verbal force. Because if she hadn’t, she too, would have been vilified in the same manner as Hillary for being too forward, aggressive, or simply a bitch. Just like Savannah.
Lesley Stahl, Trump’s senior, and the most seasoned of journalists gave us a Master Class on cool as the president squirmed, attacked, and insulted a guest in his White House. She continually laughed off the remarks and pushed on. And still when speaking with Mike Pence, who has his own way of Catholically condescending, gaslit Stahl in real-time. That’s what men like this do. They assault and then gaslight. She too has received death threats.
But Stahl has lived in this America for seventy-eight years. I’m certain Trump has not been the worst for her. The television and entertainment industry is more grueling than politics. What Stahl showed was resolve. Stoic patience that told me she knew this moment was coming to an end. In the scheme and story as long as our lives, these four years are coming to a close. Stahl, Guthrie, Welker, Harris, Pelosi, AOC, and RBG know this.
Nevertheless, she persisted. We’re less than ten days away from a new American narrative. For our daughters, wives, sisters, and mothers. For our friends. For the love.