Donald Trump seems to be very popular these days as he campaigns to be the next president of the United States on the GOP ticket. I am honestly shocked he’s number one, or at least was number one on the Republican side, prior to the first debate held last night in Ohio. I was even more shocked about the words coming out of his mouth when I watched the taped version of the debates this morning (fell asleep early last night) and was incredibly disappointed that many of his remarks were followed by crowd applause, whooping, and hollering.
When confronted with questions that called him out on the way he speaks about and to women, he never really answered the questions. In fact, what he did do was affirm that he does in fact engage in narcisistic behavior by giving a below-the-belt Rosie O’Donnell remark, telling the female anchor that he doesn’t have to be nice to her (wow, what a generous guy), and that he doesn’t have time to be “politically correct”. A family member of mine made a good point this morning by pointing out that being a man who treats a woman with respect is not being “politically correct” it’s meeting the expectation. It’s called gender equality and, in case we forgot, it’s 2015.
Trump reminds me of all the creepy men I’ve encountered over the years who have used up a lot of their energy and determination in an attempt to make me feel inferior about myself when I had done absolutely nothing wrong. The raunchy ones that cat-called me when they drove by as I was walking towards my college campus from the parking lot, the perverted old men that tried to hit on me at a bar when I was 21/22 and were deeply offended when I turned down their flirtation as if I was the one who was out of line, the degrading manager who, you KNOW, felt more superior to you because you ONLY had ovaries, another former boss who put his arm around my waist after I had lost a considerable amount of weight and told me I was “looking good” and, “Would I accompany him (instead of his wife) to an upcoming Husker football game?”, and yet another former boss who felt it was appropriate to give me a full on body hug when I was nine months pregnant (and did not want to be touched by anyone other than my husband and doctor), because we “had the same birthday!” (ummmm….what?), or any guy that pulls the same predator I-own-you crap that so many men have pulled on women over the years. Women have come so far, why would anyone “woot woot” in the audience for the kind of guy that has made my gender feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, and/or worthless when we didn’t deserve it?
I know a lot of people are thinking, “Poor Donald. That female anchor was the real bully with her verbal attacks.” No. No. No. Just stop right there and engage your brain. She took an opportunity where someone gave her a microphone and a national broadcast and she called his tail out. Even though Megyn Kelly is not my favorite journalist currently on television, nor is Fox my first choice in news networks, she was brave enough to do what many women only wish they had the courage to do. She called him out on his you-know-what, knowing he could belittle her on national television (and he did, passive-aggressively). She took one for the team knowing that many people in the audience were going to define Trump as “assertive” and her as a “B”, because Trump is a walking double standard (claims he’s the victim when he’s the poster boy for adult bullies running for president) and what I learned last night, so are many of the people who hooted and hollered for this business man. If Trump said those same comments to a women/lady/girl in your life that you cared about, would you just smile and say, “I get it, you don’t have time to be politcally correct! No worries, mate!”? Think. about. it.
Who is voting for this man? I know comedians find it to be great material for their monologues and many non-supporters enjoy muching on popcorn while watching the Trump do “his thing”, but I don’t feel it’s worth it. If you keep giving him air time, just like anything that lacks value on television (this is the man who’s known by our future generations as “that guy with his own reality tv show where he fires people for entertainment”) it will become the example or the norm. That being a jerk is acceptable, persuasive, and could make you a leader of a country….which are common characteristics of dictators. Any woot woots for that?
Or, if he must get air time, because the voters keep placing him at the top of the polls and that’s how these debates work, then keep asking him to explain to us how talking to or about women like they are worthless is acceptable? And not just from women, but from respectable men that Trump could take a lesson or two from. Honestly, I’ve always been more for Gwen Ifill’s or Charlie Rose’s calmer style of reporting than Megyn Kelly’s former-litigator-style/approach, but if I ever met her in person, I would sincerely tell her, “Thank you.”