Trump’s misogynistic tweets reflect sexism in America
| June 30, 2017
As the Trump administration moved forward on Thursday with new guidelines that severely restrict travel from six Muslim-majority countries, yet again the country was distracted by Trump’s latest grotesque, sexist tweetstorm.
Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to berate the media, this time targeting Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Together, the tweets read: “I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
Calling a woman stupid, insane, and attacking her appearance is nothing new for Trump. His record of misogynistic commentary is vast and memorable. Even earlier this week, the President interrupted a phone call with Ireland’s new prime minister, Leo Varadkar, to single out Irish journalist Caitriona Perry and tell her she has a “nice smile,” after commenting on all the “beautiful Irish press” in the oval office and summoning her to his desk. The uncomfortable moment, captured on video, was a deeply familiar one for any woman who has been harassed in the workplace. In April, Trump allegedly joked with an acquaintance during a visit with Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe that he was obsessed with the translator’s breasts. These recent incidents are just the tip of the “pussy-grabbing” iceberg.
Yes, Trump’s latest sexist drivel is worth getting angry about. But his attitudes should not be surprising: They reflect an inherent misogyny and sexism among men in America. The broader attitudes that thrive in the U.S. may be easier to overlook than the president’s words, but still, consider that this country elected Trump in spite of his amply demonstrated lack of respect for women.
Last year, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found male college biology students routinely underestimate the intelligence of their female peers, even after the semester progressed and the women students demonstrated their smarts to their classmates through their work. In 2014, a Harris poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found just 35 percent of men aged 18-34 were “comfortable” with the idea of a woman president. Only 34 percent felt comfortable with women as engineers, and just 39 percent felt at ease with the idea of women as Fortune 500 CEOs. It’s worth noting that these are millennials—a generation more often associated with progress than outdated gender norms. The gender pay gap, especially for women of color, is alive and well and, according to the American Association of University Women, will be that way until 2152.
These archaic views of women often fly under the radar as other progress toward gender equality is made, making them all the more insidious. Those wins should be celebrated, but it shouldn’t take Trump’s blatant misogyny to remind us that we still have a long way to go.
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author alone and do not represent WMC. WMC is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse candidates.
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