If you have a shred of moral intuition you knew this already: Donald Trump does not respect women.
The latest jarring audio of Trump, speaking candidly with NBC’s biggest coward, Billy Bush in 2005, is seemingly the back breaker to an extensive collection of the most outrageous sound bites to ever come from a presidential candidate. This is odd. You would think all his other straws over the last 18 months (or his entire adult life) were enough to break the camel’s back, but this hot-mic moment is the one to exhaust even his strongest advocates. And don’t be surprised if there are more to come.
Trump has a way of using his words to open wounds. But with a failing debate performance and a campaign functioning on desperation, his newest excerpt pours salt. He not only disgustingly disparaged and objectified a woman for the nth time, but he did it with such a brazen and predatory sexism that it irrefutably exposes him for the depraved egotist that he is.
I can sink to his level for a response, treating hurtful insults like Tic Tacs. Trump may brag about his strong grip on women, but everything he does makes me question his status as a man. A man doesn’t use self tanner. A man wears a suit that fits him correctly, and his tie stops before his belt. A man doesn’t make his hair the most recognizable part about him, or worry about what people infer from their hand size. A man engages in discussion with people who don’t agree with him, and does so without shouting sheer lunacy. And of all the ridiculous things he has done, a man certainly doesn’t suggest furniture shopping as a first date. That’s brutal.
Is Donald Trump the lamest date ever? Many people are saying he is.
But I won’t sink to his level. It’s too primitive, which is exactly how he treats the presidency, immigrants, minorities, veterans, and predominantly—women.
I lived in a fraternity house in college. We said a lot of awful things. But I’m telling any woman reading this right now: I never heard anyone in that house talk about having the power to assault women as Trump did on that tape. And we were 19 years old, not married and 59. He can call this “locker room” talk, but I’ve been in plenty of those too, and if someone talked like that they would certainly get called out, at the very least.
But here we are, with the election just weeks away. His supporters are again called to stare themselves in the mirror before casting their vote for the next President of the United States. But will this reveal anything? It hasn’t so far. To a majority of the Trump supporters a mirror is only going to show them the older lower-middle class white male staring back. They won’t see beyond themselves, at the vast amount of devoted Americans Trump has so cruelly verbally assaulted.
To his supporters: expand your view. Look at the people who truly make your life worth living. Who inspires you to be better, rather than appealing to your fears? Contrary to Trump’s belief, the people who have challenged me to stand for what I believe, to demand confidence, and to be the best man I can be have largely been women. And it’s not even close. I’m not asking for men to keep score, but we do need to attribute for our values.
While my dad remains my hero and my older brother my role model, it is my mom who awes me with her spirit and sacrifice and my sister who inspires me to pursue purpose. It is my aunts who battled and continue to battle cancer that I’ve seen real perseverance and the bravery it takes to stay positive when your own body is telling you that you shouldn’t be. It is my best friend who gives me the confidence and encouragement to write things without apprehension and to trust my instincts. And lastly, I firmly recognize that it is my female friends who embody more independence than anyone I know. I admire a lot about my closest guy friends, but we’d all admit how truly lost we’d be without the women in our lives. Our friendship is stronger because they know this.
This is where Trump’s blatant misogyny, along with his racism and xenophobia has actually emboldened my belief. Equality is not just imperative to our rights as citizens, it is critical to our very survival.
So if you are a man who remains rigid in your support for Donald Trump, that is your right. But please consider the women in your life. Think back to your most memorable experiences and realize who was there. What would your life be like if you dismissed the women closest to you as easily as Trump does—the man you want to put in the most powerful position in the world? Answering these questions honestly will reveal that his rhetoric of being an outsider and a supposedly smart business man is not more important than being a good man. And if it is, your problems are far greater than your concern with our government.
Time to man up.