Why We Should be Haunted by the Future
One woman’s desperate plea to stop Donald Trump
As a nineteen year old woman, I have a basic belief. There is so much talk of feminism in society, and supporting women to have equal rights in American society, from equal pay to equal job opportunities. But, the most basic human right in my opinion, is respect. My belief that a person deserves to be respected simply because he or she is a person, regardless of gender, is not a ground breaking one. However, it seems Donald Trump would disagree with me.
Donald Trump has been quoted multiple times disrespecting women. He has repeatedly referred to women as physical objects, and not people. He sexualizes women constantly. And yet, there are people in our country ready and willing to elect this man for the office of President of the United States.
I have never once called myself a feminist, as I often believed that the term was synonymous with man-hating, and allowed for too much gray area in terms of defining what I believe. However, Trump’s opinions and constant negative comments concerning women have turned the issue very black-and-white for me. I stand with feminists against the degradation of females that Trump himself, though he denies supporting it, constantly allows on his campaign trail.
The most recent even that has prompted my utter outrage is an image that Donald Trump re-tweeted. Allow me to clarify, I have no issue with this man “tweeting.” I am of the millennial generation, and I support the new movement of politicians utilizing social media to connect with the younger side of America’s population. But Trump seems to have forgotten the utter power and influence that any social media site has, as he re-tweeted an image comparing Ted Cruz’s wife to his own. The image of Ted Cruz’s wife was an image that is unflattering, especially when placed next to an image of Trump’s wife that appears air-brushed and magazine ready. However, by re-tweeting this image, Trump essentially says that Mrs. Cruz is not beautiful. Although I also take issue with the immature and unprofessional tactic of insulting an opponent’s spouse in order to bolster one’s political career, I wish to focus on a different issue. By re-tweeting this photo, Trump has implied that no woman can ever measure up to magazine-ready beauty standards, and therefore any woman caught in an unflattering image cannot be beautiful. This message is only emphasized by its caption, “no need to spill the beans, the images are worth a thousand words.”
This event, though at first glance a minor incident, is indeed the exact opposite. It is the ultimate example of Mr. Trump’s way of thinking about women, which is to reduce them to their physique and their sexual appeal. Trump has shown this mindset of his many times on the campaign trail whilst saying equally dismissive and degrading things. For example, when a student at a Trump rally asked Mr. Trump, “I may be wrong, maybe you can prove me wrong. I don’t believe you are a friend to women.” Mr. Trump’s dismissive response was, “I knew I shouldn’t have picked her. I respect women incredibly, I have had women working for me in positions that they’ve never worked, in terms of construction.” Mr. Trump went on to describe how he had women on his payroll for years. However, Mr. Trump was dismissive, and vague in his responses to the young female student.
In other instances, while Trump has not dismissed women, he has been openly misogynistic and sexist. When asked about Megyn Kelly, a news analyst who issued questions at a presidential debate, Trumps said, “When I got out there and she started asking me questions…you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her…whatever,” insinuating that Megyn Kelly was menstruating. So, Trump believes that if a woman were to challenge him on his beliefs and policies, she must be on her period and dealing with menstrual hormones.
But what is most disturbing about Trump’s comments is that they are not just campaign tactics. Trump has been making comments like this throughout his professional career, showing that this sexism is a part of his fundamental belief system.
When talking about women and their physiques in general, Trump told a reporter, “When you are flat-chested, it is very hard to be a ten.”
When describing Princess Diana in an interview, Trump said “She had the height, she had the beauty, but she was crazy. These are minor details.”
When he was asked to describe female writers, Trump said “You know, it doesn’t really matter what they write, as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
On the T. V. show “The Apprentice,” Trump said directly to a woman “that must have been a pretty picture, you down on your knees.”
And finally, Trump once told a reporter for New York, “Women. You have to treat them like shit.”
This is how Trump talks about women. This is how he has, and currently does, speak about 50.4% of the United States population. The same population that he wants to represent as President of the United States. And yet he seems to have forgotten about women throughout history and in the present time who were and are far more than sexual objects to be viewed by the public. He has forgotten about some of the strongest women: The suffragettes who fought for the woman’s right to vote. He has ignored the writings and social achievements of Betty Friedan, a woman who worked to organize rallies for women’s equality and rights, and he has ignored the writings of Maya Angelou. He is actively ignoring the work of Malala Yousafzai and Emma Watson, who are modern women. Malala was shot in the head for promoting women’s education and yet she survived, and travels to speak on the issue today. Emma Watson is an actress turned U.N. representative to spearhead a women’s equality movement. But according to Mr. Trump’s ideologies, these are simply sexual beings that apparently must be treated “like shit.” These are silly little women for him to verbally degrade.
I am a young woman. I am in college studying hard to earn two degrees, I have worked part time jobs during the school year since I was fifteen years old. I am a published poet, and a public speaker. My mother is a single woman who works countless hours to support her children, all the while having a smile on her face and a song in her heart. My sister is a college graduate who works in a professional restaurant. We are strong, independent, with our own beliefs, thoughts, abilities, and accomplishments. THAT is what it means to be a woman.
But according to Donald Trump, we are sexual beings, nothing more. We are not to be treated equally. And so, my request to anyone reading this is a simple one. Think of your wife, or daughter. Think of your sisters, cousins, mother, and female friends. Now think of them being degraded to being defined by whether or not they are flat-chested, and only thought of in terms of sex. We are more than that. You have an opportunity to show that we are more than that, and that opportunity is a simple one. Do not make us look to the White House in the upcoming years and see a man running the country that we know does not think of us as equal beings. Do not make us question if any attempt we make to increase our rights or recognition as strong, capable people will be shot down by a misogynist and sexist that is running the country.
Do not vote for Donald Trump for President. If you do, you will be supporting a man that hardly thinks of over half of the country’s population as even being people.
Does that thought not haunt you as much as it does me?