Sunday, October 16, 2016

Trump Kontra Famalao'an

Este na klasen tinige' siha muna'magof yu'. Guaha na biahi ti komprendeyon nu Guahu si Donald Trump. Gof annok nu Guahu na racist pat misogynistic gui' ya gof guinaiya gui' ni' i manggaichinatli'e' nu otro rås pat klasen taotao. Lao i meggaiña gi media, ti manmalago' ma sångan enao. Ti manmalago' ma admite enao. 

Pues ya-hu este na klasen tinige', sa' i tumutuge' (ko'lo'lo'ña i famalao'an) ma såsangan i minagahet put si Donald Trump. 

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"Trump is Being Outplayed by Women - And He's Losing His Mind Over It"
by Joan Walsh
The Nation
September 30, 2016

 You’ve heard of the 3 am phone call, the one every presidential nominee must be prepared to answer ably. Now we have the 3 am tweet storm, where the would-be leader of the free world melts down at the temerity of mere women to challenge his political dominance.

Four days after his pathetic debate performance, Donald Trump is still digging himself deeper down the hole that Hillary Clinton dispatched him to on Monday night when she disclosed his racist and sexist treatment of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. He didn’t deny Clinton’s claims that he’d fat-shamed his employee, calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping”; he essentially confirmed it, telling Fox and Friends the next morning that she’d gained weight and it was a problem for him. Then his allies began attacking Machado for rumors that she’d been involved in a murder plot—she was never charged, with anything—and in the porn trade. The story’s latest twist is Trump’s meltdown in the wee small hours of Friday morning, attacking both Clinton and Machado on Twitter, and urging his 11 million followers to look at a “sextape” of Machado (one that Snopes.com says doesn’t actually exist).

We already know the Trump phenomenon channels the tremendous and tragic backlash to the advancements of women and people of color in the last few decades. The folks in those “Make America Great Again” hats are almost always white and usually male. They are in thrall to a reassuring story that restores men to the head of society and whites to their central, superior place. Sure, there’s a strain of economic anxiety that reflects troubling economic trends for the white working class over the last 40 years. But Trump is also relying on male anger at female advancement.

His serial adultery and his swaggering misogyny are key to his appeal to some older white men.
But they’re appalling to women of every race and age group, who are coming to see Trump as the belittling boss and callow playboy who shames employees, wives, and daughters alike with cruel or crude comments about their appearance. The notion of a man who is clinically obese fat-shaming a beautiful but curvy young woman exemplifies the double standard that reduces women to their youth and beauty, but allows men (especially wealthy ones) a lifetime of presumed virility and social prestige.

 Throughout her campaign against Trump, Clinton has tried to channel the backlash to the backlash, with ads featuring women reading Trump’s own sexist words, and maybe most affectingly, showing young girls looking at themselves in the mirror, as the GOP nominee’s sexist insults play in the background. The campaign clearly invited this latest clash with Trump over Machado—it had an ad featuring her story ready for release the morning after the debate. But I’m not sure anyone dreamed Trump would cooperate so willingly with their ploy.

Or maybe they did. It’s clear that Trump is coming undone by the notion that these two women—one “fat,” the other old, both past their sell date in the eyes of Trump and men like him—are not hiding somewhere in shame, maybe laboring quietly in the back office of one of his golf clubs where no one can see them, but out in the public square trying to bring him down. One is even beating him in the race for president, though the polls remain lamentably close.

 With his campaign in free fall this week, Trump’s staffers are fighting—again—and sending mixed messages about whether his doubling down on Machado was a mistake (nominal campaign manager Kellyanne Conway admitted as much on The View; Newt Gingrich is backing his buddy). They also circulated talking points that urged surrogates to begin the lurid attacks on Bill Clinton’s infidelity Trump promised to launch earlier in the campaign.

“Mr. Trump has never treated women the way Hillary Clinton and her husband did when they actively worked to destroy Bill Clinton’s accusers,” the memo read, according to CNN. It prepares surrogates for questions about whether they’re blaming a wife for a husband’s bad behavior. “Are you blaming Hillary for Bill’s infidelities? No, however, she’s been an active participant in trying to destroy the women who has come forward with a claim,” they are told to say. But so far even the Clinton-unfriendly media isn’t convinced: They’re framing Trump’s desperate reliance on Bill Clinton’s behavior as, yes, “blaming Hillary for Bill’s infidelity.” This will enrage Trump even more.

 It’s no accident that three of Trump’s victims—Machado, the Khan family, and Judge Gonzalo Curiel—are not white. Hostility to minorities is the animating energy of the campaign. But the candidate’s derangement over Machado surpasses his prior breakdowns—for a good reason. A woman he once controlled, quite literally—making her exercise in front of the media, to prove she was taking his demands to lose weight seriously—is defying him publicly. Another woman, Hillary Clinton, refused to slink into obscurity after her husband humiliated her (last year Trump shared a fan’s tweet asking, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”) and is currently leading him in the race for the presidency.

As Trump reflexively lashes back at these two noncompliant women, millions of other women are seeing the sort of man who’s kept them back, on the job and sometimes at home, and they’re appalled. During a campaign in which she has occasionally struggled with a lack of enthusiasm, she is getting a great gift from her opponent. Women voters outnumber men, and Clinton is counting on most of them to want to humiliate a chronic humiliator—at the polls.

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 Donald Trump has a bad history with women. Will voters care?
by Jessica Valenti
The Guardian/UK
May 19, 2016

In the strange tale of Donald Trump’s rise to power, it makes sense that women’s votes are thought to be what will stop him from winning the White House. It would be poetic justice: the candidate who speaks about women as objects and animals – the man known for “personally evaluating” pageant contestants and commenting on female employees’ weight – losing with the largest gender gap in voting history.
 
It’s a nice story, one I quite like. But this hopeful happy ending isn’t a given – and if the general election becomes a referendum on how tolerable Americans find sexism, we may find that the answer doesn’t match the optimistic stories we tell ourselves.

While feminism is wielding more cultural power than it has in decades, women’s gains in the US have historically been followed by periods of backlash. Some voters will see Trump’s comments about women not as mistreatment, but as a refreshing counter to “PC culture” run amok.

Republican leaders are already signaling that they’re ready to gloss over Trump’s sexism. When asked about a New York Times piece outlining Trump’s treatment of women over the years, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus responded that “people just don’t care” about the issue. And this week, Fox News televised Trump making nice with Megyn Kelly, the pundit Trump has called a “bimbo” and suggested was tough on him during a debate because she was menstruating.

In the meantime, Democrats seem to be under the mistaken impression that merely showcasing Trump’s sexism is enough to sway Americans. But in the wake of Bernie Sanders supporters leaving death threats and misogynist slurs on a Nevada official’s voicemail, it’s become harder to ignore the pernicious gender issues that plague the left.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign needs to explain to voters why they should care about Trump’s misogyny – and misogyny in general – and talk about the impact it could have. Because sexism knows no party, and some of those irate male Sanders fans could make their way to Trump instead of supporting Clinton (something Trump’s campaign is prepared for.)

It’s true, the vast majority of Democratic voters aren’t misogynists. But they’re not all feminists either. If the Democratic elite assumes that all liberal voters are outraged by sexism, they’ll be making the same devastating miscalculation the GOP elite did when they assumed Republican voters were tied to the same conservative ideals they cared about.

The media needs to continue to report on how horrible Trump is on women’s issues in both his political and personal life, and Democrats need to hammer home why that matters to the daily lives of all Americans. We can’t afford to be overly optimistic on how much this message will resonate without a national conversation about gender, power and politics. Not if we want our fairytale ending.

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 Donald Trump, Groper in Chief
by Nicholas Kristoff
New York Times
October 7, 2016

Jill Harth’s first concern with Donald Trump’s hands wasn’t that they were small. It’s that they were everywhere.

Harth and her longtime boyfriend were in meetings with Trump to forge a business partnership. “He was relentless,” Harth recalled in an interview, describing how on Dec. 12, 1992, he took the couple to dinner and a club — and then situated himself beside Harth and ran his hands up her skirt, to her crotch. “I didn’t know how to handle it. I would go away from him and say I have to go to the restroom. It was the escape route.”

We’ve all heard of Trump’s unethical or loutish behavior, most recently in a 2005 recording unearthed by The Washington Post on Friday in which he boasts of kissing and groping women. The story that Harth and the boyfriend, George Houraney, tell of their interactions with Trump over six years — including business cheating and attempted rape — shows how that predation worked in practice. “He name-dropped continuously,” Harth said under oath in a deposition in a subsequent lawsuit, “when he wasn’t groping me.”

Harth and Houraney were simply an ordinary Florida couple thrilled that Trump wanted to partner with them. And that’s when the nightmare began. (Trump strongly denies these improprieties.) Anyone thinking about voting for Trump would do well to listen to Houraney and Harth.

They were operating a small Florida company called American Dream Enterprise that ran a “calendar girl” beauty contest, an automobile show, a music competition and other events. They had been together for 13 years and were negotiating with Trump to hold the events in his Atlantic City casinos as a way to bring all of them more revenue.
Trump dazzled them with his bold and confident vision of turning their events into huge moneymakers. So, Harth says, she was in a bind familiar to many women: She didn’t want to risk offending a potential partner and benefactor, but neither did she want to be pawed.
The first sign of trouble came the day before the evening groping, in an initial business meeting in which, Harth and Houraney say, Trump spent the time asking about the breasts of the beauty contestants — real or enhanced? — and staring at Harth, then 30. At one point he asked Houraney, “Are you sleeping with her?” Houraney explained awkwardly that they were a couple, but Trump was unfazed.
“You know, there’s going to be a problem,” Trump told Houraney, according to a 1997 sexual harassment lawsuit Harth filed against him. “I’m very attracted to your girlfriend.
On Jan. 24, 1993, Harth and Houraney went to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for a contract-signing celebration, bringing along some “calendar girls” at Trump’s request. He offered Harth a tour of the estate and then pulled her into the empty bedroom of his daughter Ivanka.
“I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me,” Harth told me. “He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.” Harth says she was desperately protesting, and finally managed to run out of the room and find the group again. She and Houraney left rather than stay the night, as they had intended.
Some of the calendar girls stayed, and the sexual harassment lawsuit says Trump showed up uninvited in the predawn hours in the bedroom of one of the young women; she kicked him out but was shaken. When contacted, the woman declined to speak about the experience, and I’m not naming her here.
Trump was then with Marla Maples, who was pregnant that spring with his daughter Tiffany, but this didn’t constrain him. He took an intense interest in the calendar girls, pursuing some and rejecting others, Harth says, adding that he had an aversion to black contestants and made derogatory comments about them.
That year, Harth continued to meet Trump for business — and, she says, he continued to try to jump her. “He’d say, ‘Let’s go in my room, I want to lie down,’ and he’d pull me along. I’d say, ‘I don’t want to lie down,’ and it would turn into a wrestling match. … I remember yelling, ‘I didn’t come here for this.’ He’d say, ‘Just calm down.’”
Harth says that she worried about being raped by a man who weighed twice as much as she did, and at one point she vomited as a defense mechanism. But she says that he was never violent and genuinely seemed to assume sexual interest on her part; often he was playful as she was frightened: “His mind was in a totally different place than mine,” Harth recalls. “He thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
Harth said in her deposition that all this was “very traumatic,” but she remained cordial because she feared that showing anger would destroy the business relationship and her ambitions of getting ahead. For the same reason, she told me, she did not go to the police to report sexual assault.
This was also a different time, when it was perhaps more accepted for powerful men to prey on young women, when women felt less able to protest. In fairness to Trump, other senior men in politics and business — John Kennedy and Bill Clinton come to mind — also sometimes showed a sense of entitlement toward young women.

In the end, Houraney and Harth used a Trump casino to hold an event that Trump praised in a letter to them. But in 1994, Trump walked away from the relationship and refused to pay what he owed, they say.

Houraney, who owned the events planning company, sued Trump for breach of contract, and the two sides eventually reached a confidential settlement. Harth says Trump paid somewhat more than $100,000. Harth separately had filed her sexual harassment suit, which also alleged attempted rape; she withdrew her suit as a condition for settling the contract dispute, she says.

After the settlement, Houraney and Harth say, Trump reached out to them, inviting them to a party and coming across as so charming that they wondered if he had been transformed. Not long after this, Houraney and Harth, who had married in 1995, had a bitter falling out and divorce.

Houraney and Harth haven’t spoken in years, but they offered almost identical accounts when I interviewed them separately, and their stories match Harth’s deposition and her sexual harassment lawsuit from the time.

During the divorce proceedings, Harth fell into a deep depression, compounded by the death of her brother and the loss of her job at Houraney’s company. At this point Trump began calling her, consoling her on the divorce and offering her a plane ticket to visit him in New York. She was wary but also flattered and practical enough to wonder if he might help her find employment. So in 1998 she began dating him.

I asked her: Why would a woman who accused Trump of attempted rape ever go out with him?
“I was scared, thinking, ‘what am I going to do now?’” she says. “When he called me and tried to work on me again, I was thinking maybe I should give this a try, maybe if he’s still working on me, I should give this rich guy a chance.”

They dated for several months in 1998, when he was separated from Maples, she says. In the end, he was a disappointing boyfriend, always watching television and rarely offering emotional support, she says.

“It was a hard divorce, and I was in a nonstop crying jag,” she recalls. “You know what he was thinking? He wanted me to get a boob job. He made an appointment for me to get a boob job, a doctor in Miami.”


Harth says that she left him, finally fed up, and that soon afterward he took up with Melania, his current wife.

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, responded after this article was published online: “Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth.” Indeed, Trump has long offered a version of events that is very different.

In 1996, after Harth alleged sexual harassment, The National Enquirer quoted Trump as having told a close friend: “The truth is that Jill Harth is obsessed with me — and would do everything she could to get into my pants.”

In April of this year, Trump told The Boston Globe that Harth and Houraney had alleged sexual harassment only because their breach-of-contract lawsuit was going nowhere, and he denied as “total nonsense” the idea that he had slipped into the bed of the young woman at Mar-a-Lago. Trump also denied that he had rejected black contestants.

The Trump campaign also released emails from last fall and winter in which Harth, who is now a makeup artist in New York, sends warm wishes and pleads for jobs doing his hair and makeup. “I am definitely Team Trump,” she emailed the campaign a year ago, and at a Trump event in January she was ushered backstage to see him.

I asked her: If he traumatized and cheated you, why email his aides and meet him?

“I thought I was making nice, maybe they’d call me for makeup, maybe I could get some kind of work out of the dude,” Harth told me. “But it was not well thought out. It came back to bite me, and I look like a fool.”

Talking to Harth and Houraney, and reviewing the lawsuits and depositions from the time, convinced me that they’re telling the truth. It helps that many others have testified about Trump behavior that matches elements of the story — the stiffing of business partners, the sexual predation — and that he himself has promoted his own boorishness.

“He’s all about him,” Harth says, summing up what she learned about the man who may be our next president. “He’s a con artist.”

This column has been updated with a response from the Trump campaign.

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Donald and Billy on the bus
by Ruth Fremson
New York Times
October 8, 2016

It’s Billy Bush’s snickering that really gets to me. In the video from 2005, published Friday by The Washington Post, you can hear Mr. Bush (first cousin to George W.) wheezing ecstatically as Donald J. Trump brags, inadvertently into a hot mic, about sexually harassing and groping women. The pair, along with a passel of unidentified men, are on a bus en route to film an Access Hollywood segment with the actress Arianne Zucker.

Through the window of the bus, Mr. Bush seems to spot Ms. Zucker first, as she waits to greet them. “Sheesh,” he blurts, breathless, telling Mr. Trump how hot “your girl” is. You can feel Mr. Bush’s giddiness, a contact high, at getting to join a more powerful man in the oldest and most sacred of male bonding exercises: objectifying women.

Mr. Trump spies Ms. Zucker too. “Whoa!”

“Yes!” Mr. Bush grunts, Beavis-esque, “Yes, the Donald has scored!”

Of course, “the Donald” has not “scored.” The Donald is on the NBC lot to shoot a guest appearance on “Days of Our Lives” at the behest of his employer to promote his reality show, “The Apprentice,” while “Access Hollywood” produces an accompanying puff piece. This is work within work within work. Mr. Bush is at work. Mr. Trump is at work. Ms. Zucker is at work, and not only is she not Mr. Trump’s “girl,” she is a complete stranger who is also on camera and being paid to smile.

“Heh heh heh,” Mr. Bush snickers. “My man!”

Such has it always been: powerful men sorting women’s bodies into property and trash and “good” guys, average guys, guys you know, guys you love, guys on the “Today” show, going along with it. Snickering. Licking a boot here and there, joining in if they’re feeling especially bitter or transgressive or insecure or far from the cameras that day. Perhaps, at their most noble, staying silent. Never speaking up, because the social cost is too high. It’s easier to leave that for the victims to bear. 

After all, they’re used to it.

“I gotta use some Tic Tacs,” Mr. Trump says, still inside the bus, “just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Mr. Bush and the bus toadies laugh.

You can’t “do anything,” actually. This might be a challenging concept for someone running a campaign so socially retrograde it’s practically medieval, but women are allowed to own property now. That includes our own bodies, whether you feel “automatically” entitled to pieces of us or not.
Every woman knows a version of Donald Trump. Most of us have known more of them than we can (or care to) recall. He’s the boss who thinks you owe him something; the date who thinks that silence means “yes” and “no” means “try harder”; the stranger who thinks your body’s mere existence constitutes an invitation to touch, take, own and destroy. He’s every deadbeat hookup, every narcissistic loser, every man who’s ever tried to leverage power, money, fame, credibility or physical strength to snap your boundaries like matchsticks. He is hot fear and cold dread and a pit in your stomach. He’s the man who held you back, who never took you seriously, who treated you like nothing until you started to believe it, who raped you and told you it was your fault and whose daddy was a cop so who would believe you anyway?

Come on, women. You know this man. I can name the ones in my past — name yours and imagine each as president, with every woman’s life in his care. Would you even trust him to watch your dog? (That’s a trick question because he would never do it. His defining characteristic is that he does not care about you.)

When Mr. Trump tells Mr. Bush that he’s “gotta use a Tic Tac” just in case he cannot restrain himself from non-consensually affixing his perfectly round, gasping lamprey mouth over Ms. Zucker’s, he is talking about sexually assaulting a co-worker.

When he says he grabs women’s genitals, he is talking about sexually assaulting anyone he feels like, at any time. Female Trump voters: It’s fine if you’ve come to terms with not being a full human being in the eyes of your party, but what about your daughters? Is that the life you want for them? You want old men to grab their genitals? You want the president of the United States to go around grabbing genitals?

Mr. Trump is rape culture’s blathering id, and Sunday night Hillary Clinton (who, no doubt, has just as many man-made scars as the rest of us) has to stand next to him on a stage, and remain unflappable as she’s held to an astronomically higher standard, and pretend that he is her equal while his followers persist in howling that sexism is a feminist myth. While Mr. Trump boasts about sexual assault and vows to suppress disobedient media, cable news pundits spend their time taking a protractor to Mrs. Clinton’s smile — a constant, churning, microanalysis of nothing.

Many people, well, many men, are expressing their disgust with Mr. Trump the only way they know how: By invoking their mothers and daughters and sisters — people, presumably, with the anatomy Mr. Trump feels free to assess and knead. Hillary Clinton has been showing us all year, and all her life, that, sure, women can be cherished if you want, but they also can be president.

Meanwhile, right-wing lawmakers are scrambling, sanctimonious and pathetic, to distance themselves from their own hideous progeny, clearly hoping to salvage some personal credibility and perhaps even save their party. But here is the thing, the big thing, that Paul D. Ryan and Reince Priebus and Mike Pence and all the spineless Billy Bushes of the world (and plenty of progressive men too, for that matter) don’t understand: Most of you are no better than Mr. Trump; you are just more subtle.

If you have spent your career brutalizing and dehumanizing women legislatively rather than personally, you are no better. If you were happy to overlook months of violent racism, xenophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia from the Trump campaign, but now you’re mad that he used a bad word and tried to sleep with another man’s wife, you are no better. If you have derided and stigmatized identity politics in an effort to keep the marginalized from organizing, you are no better. If you snicker or say nothing while your fellow men behave like Donald Trump, you are no better.
The truth is that all of you have failed women for generations, and you deserve to lose our votes. 

Next month we will grab you where it hurts. By your ballots.

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Why Donald Trump and Billy Bush's leaked conversation is so awful
by Alexandra Petri
Washington Post
October 7, 2016

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
— Donald Trump, apologizing(?) for leaked footage of him talking to Billy Bush in 2005, saying that, among other things, “when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything… Grab them by the p—y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

Ah, yes, just locker room banter. As far as I can tell, the conversations in men’s locker rooms all must go something like this.

First man: Phew! Thank goodness. It was exhausting to have to walk through the world talking to all those women as though they were just people, like us. Clearly, they are not. They are women. Their bodies exist for us to look at and do sex to.
Second Man: I do sex constantly! I obtained a great deal of sex today from the many walking sex dispensers that are to be found drifting through the world! I must obtain as much as possible from the best-looking dispensers so that I can win respect from fellow men like you!
First Man: Ha, ha, champ!
Second Man: Give me a promotion!
First Man: I will, if you will promise not to take paternity leave!
Second Man: I promise! Boy, I am exhausted! I saw a woman at work today in clothes, and I thought about sex. I wish that she had worn different clothes so that this would not happen. Sex is my right as a human being, and I do not understand why it would be withheld ever, under any circumstances.
First Man: I am a true lady killer.
Third Man: That is a violent term.
Second Man: I bet you slay a lot of women.
First Man: (winking) At least 30. (winking more) I left their remains along the highway. (winking more) Their families will not find them.
Third Man: This is kind of violent, and I am not sure it is just a double entendre any more.
Second Man: Trevor, please. What are you, a GIRL? This is more of that political correctness that is ruining everything.

(Third Man leaves)
First Man: Thank you for saying something. We need to preserve places like this. Every time women come into male spaces, they are ruined.
Second Man: I agree. It is too bad that my exes are crazy.
First Man: All of them?
Second Man: Yes, 100 percent. It is amazing how every woman I date turns out to have severe mental problems the moment she ceases to date me.
First Man: Those bitches.

It must be nice to have a magical room where you can go, drop your pants and pretend for a few glorious hours that women are not people.

A repellent, but remarkably unexamined, idea that we carry around in society with us is the notion that somehow this is okay. That this is just boys being boys. That we must give boys a safe, unpolluted, secret space where they can stop the exhausting charade of acting as though women contain the same internal worlds that they do themselves.

This is what it gets back to: the idea that men are people, and women are just women.

Of course what Donald Trump said is awful. But, as Kelly Oxford noted on Twitter, it’s the fact that Billy Bush just nodded along that gives us rape culture.

It’s the idea that boys will be boys, and it does not matter what you leave in your wake, because you are the protagonist of this story, and the girl is just … an appealing body, to be discussed and dissected at leisure when you are back in one of the myriad locker rooms of daily life. If that.

This is egregious, but it is not isolated. It’s every time the Serious Concern is that a young man’s life might theoretically be ruined — by the act of punishing him for what he did to ruin someone else’s life. It’s every time someone talks about how awful something would be if it happened to your wife or your daughter or your mother — instead of just to you, to a person. Every time women’s existence is limited to their relationship to men. Every time women are treated merely as gatekeepers of sex, a resource that is somehow obtainable without the enthusiastic participation of another person who might have opinions on the matter. Every time men don’t read books by women, every time boys can’t find it in themselves to identify with a female protagonist. Every time people look at a movie with one woman in it and nine men and say “yes, this seems fine.” Every time we say to little girls in countless ways that what matters is how you look, not what you think.

Some of these things seem smaller than others, but every tiny detail adds up to a terrifying denial of the idea that women have the same kind of internal reality that men do. And that gets us to conversations like this and thoughts like this.

That’s the world where Donald Trump lives: a world where men are people, and women are women. Not quite people. Something different. That’s why Trump was always famously telling female employees that a man was better than a woman, but that a good woman is better than 10 good men.

 Would you say this about any other category of person and treat it like a compliment? No, of course you would not.

He lives in a world where the highest compliment you can give a woman — even your own daughter — is that you would sleep with her. And it’s not creepy, because — well, what else might a woman possibly want?

That is the awful thing about this conversation. It is not that it is especially lewd, although it is. It is not that it is violent and awful and wrong, although it is. It is the fact that it is, within certain circles, still quite normal. It’s the fact that Donald Trump used, as a defense, the idea that he’d said much worse.

It’s the fact that when Billy Bush heard him, Bush did not stop the bus they were riding on and say, “MY GOD, MAN, YOU ARE SICK! THIS IS SICK! THIS IS AWFUL!” He nodded. He laughed. You had the sense that Donald Trump could have escalated still further — past non-consensually grabbing people by the p—y (that’s sexual assault, by the way) — and into building himself a coat from female skin before Bush would have begun pushing back.

And even then, he might just have giggled.


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