Donald Trump's MSNBC town hall statement that, should abortion become illegal, women who get them should be "punished," only adds to months of misogynistic and hateful statements about women that have led me to the conclusion that when it comes to Trump and women, it's not an "and," it's an "or."
If you are a woman who supports Donald Trump, then you don't support other women.
I don't usually like to make blanket statements about people, but I have tried to imagine someone who both respects women and thinks that Donald Trump should be our next president, and I have been unable to conjure up this particular breed of unicorn.
To be a woman who supports Donald Trump is to be someone who saw his retweet about Ted Cruz's wife and thought it was acceptable, or even funny. To be a woman who supports Donald Trump is to be someone who thinks it's OK for a presidential candidate to make a joke about a female reporter being on her period. To be a woman who supports Donald Trump is to believe that women who are driven to get illegal abortions should go to prison.
Now, Trump has a lot of female spokespeople out there on the cable channels defending his various insults, and I have to think that they are a) kidding themselves, b) dead inside or c) misogynists as well. But they are just doing a job — after all, there's morality, and then there's politics.
When it comes to the everyday women that I see lining up outside Trump rallies, however, I have to shake my head in wonder. I imagine them as the kind of women who whisper about you when you put on 10 pounds, or who try to fit in with the guys at work by speaking derisively of their female coworkers. Or, maybe they have chosen to believe him when he says things like, "Nobody has more respect for women than me." He likes to point to his history of hiring and promoting women in his companies as an example of this respect, but let's be clear about something: There's what people do, and there's what people believe. These days, you're going to be hard-pressed to find a racist business owner who will refuse to serve black people. That doesn't mean that that business owner loves black people, it means that they are following the law and don't want to get in trouble.
It's not that Trump isn't a misogynist, he's just a street-smart misogynist.
It's painful to see women cheering this man after all he has said and done. They might as well be yelling, "Yes! Degrade us! Punish us the way we deserve to be punished! We are the worst! Trump 2016!" And it's not a matter of liking his other ideas so much that they are choosing to overlook his sexism, because his sexism is pervasive and unapologetic. No, women who support Trump are accepting and promoting his sexism.
We're beyond supporting whoever the Republican nominee is just because you're a Republican — make no mistake, a vote for Trump is a vote against women. And should he be the nominee, I would hope, as far-fetched as it may seem, that all women would put aside partisan politics for this election and make a statement about who we are — as a country and as women living in the United States — by refusing to vote for him and against ourselves.
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