Monday, May 16, 2016

Trump And The Ladies

1.  The Gray Lady, i.e., New York Times has published the results of its own extensive survey (fifty interviews with wimminz and such!) about the  private and public relationships between one Donald Trump, a not-self-made braggard and billionaire, and various female persons that have crossed his path through life.* 

Some of those female persons he grabbed for a girlfriend or a wife, some of them he rated in the meat markets which we call beauty pageants, and some of them he promoted at work and supported in all sorts of feminist-y endeavors.  But he always had a keen eye on the breasts and butts. 

In a bizarre way the NYT article might be the seeds of the process which I see beginning:  The Normalization Of Donald Trump.**  That's because it paints a picture of the kind of an asshat that many women have met at school, in college or in the labor markets, and if those asshats are so common, well, why not have one as our president?

I've seen similar normalization take place in real life.  Certain men (and more rarely, women) are allowed to act very badly, because "that's how they are and deep down they have a kind heart."   Though it might take open heart surgery to establish anything about the kindness of their hearts, while some other individuals (say, Greek goddesses) are NOT allowed to behave like asshats even though they clearly have enormously large and kind hearts, carried on their sleeves.

Reince Priebus, one of the Republican bosses,  is willing to hold the watering can over the tiny sprout of the plant that will be the normalization of Donald Trump.  When he was asked if that NYT story about Trump and the ladies bothered him he answered:

“Well, you know, a lot of things bother me, Chris,” he replied, “and obviously I’m the wrong person to be asking that particular question.” When Wallace pointed out that he was the chairman of the party and this was the nominee, Priebus continued, “What I would say is we’ve been working on this primary for over a year, Chris, and I’ve got to tell you. I think that all these stories that come out — and they come out every couple weeks — people just don’t care.
“I don’t think Donald Trump — and his personal life — is something that people are looking at and saying, ‘Well, I’m surprised that he’s had girlfriends in the past.’ It’s not what people look at Donald Trump for, so I think the traditional playbook and analysis really don’t apply.

Mmm.  The sentence I bolded in the quote is exactly what I meant by that real-life normalization of asshats.  The traditional playbook just doesn't apply to them, even though it will continue to apply to the rest of us.

2.  I'm not going to help in this normalization process of Donald Trump.  Remember that the man wants to rule the most powerful country in the world.  Remember that roughly half of the people in that country, and in the rest of the world, are female persons.

Then ask yourself if those female persons (and, of course, the ones who love them!) will profit from having a leader who cannot tear his eyes or his mind off their breasts and butts.  It's that mind part which really matters here, because those who are carrying out the normalization work  are all about normalizing only his roving eyes.

Thus, we cannot take our eyes off the real question here:  Is Donald Trump qualified to be the president of the United States which has lots of female persons?

A part of the answer can be found in the long NYT article.  I give you two quotes which do matter for the Trump-and-the-ladies question:

Mr. Trump still holds up his parents as models, praising his stay-at-home mother for understanding and accommodating a husband who worked almost nonstop.
“My mother was always fine with it,” he said, recalling her “brilliant” management of the situation. “If something got interrupted because he was going to inspect a housing site or something, she would handle that so beautifully.”
“She was an ideal woman,” he said.

And second:

When Mr. Trump hired Ms. Res to oversee the construction of Trump Tower, he invited her to his apartment on Fifth Avenue and explained that he wanted her to be his “Donna Trump” on the project, she said. Few women had reached such stature in the industry.

He said: “I know you’re a woman in a man’s world. And while men tend to be better than women, a good woman is better than 10 good men.” … He thought he was really complimenting me.

Those quotes are weak tea, you might protest.  But they tell us about two beliefs he has held in the past and may still hold today:  That the ideal woman is one who is utterly subservient to her husband's needs, and that, in general, men tend to be better than women.  

I get that Donald Trump is not unique in those beliefs.  He might even represent a majority belief on a global level.  I also get that this country has probably elected more sexist presidents in the past, only those men kept their mouths zipped about their beliefs. 

Still, it might matter to us that this particular candidate is open about all that.  How many women would the Trump administration appoint to positions of power?  Would those women have to be single so that no husband is inconvenienced by their long working days?  Would he openly discuss the breasts of foreign female leaders? 

Even more importantly,  the Trump those above beliefs describes would not try to promote legislation which would make it easier for women to both hold their jobs and care for their children.  And we have already been told that he would appoint forced-birthers to the Supreme Court.

3.  I'm trying to imagine how the more politically innocent "me" of twenty years ago would react to being told about the presidential race of 2016.  Would that "me" jump off the ledge in despair?  Or would she get a really good laugh over this surreal period of American politics?  Hard to say.

And that applies to most of us, I guess, that feeling of not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.


*My analysis is about what we publicly know now and doesn't necessarily apply to any future revelations.

** There's an aspect to this normalization which is too big to be covered inside this post, and that is the attempt to re-normalize views of women as cupcakes, age-rated for spoilage, disposable and so on.  I'm fairly sure that some Trump voters love exactly this aspect of Trump's utterances, because it supports them in their own work to re-normalize the lighter kind of misogyny and male entitlement.