Trump’s new inner circle is a rogue’s gallery of women-beaters, sexual harassers, men who would do away with equal pay and the pill and the Violence Against Women act. Welcome back to the 1960 s, America.”>
Donald Trump , a human who once owned beauty pageant without a talent or interview portion, has been elected President. He has surrounded himself with people who will enable and reinforce his worldview, because thats what hes always done. When the behavior that was acceptable within his self-constructed and insular worldpussy-grabbing, victim-insulting, daughter-caressingwent public, we first reacted with disgust. Donald Trump is a strange person, who behaves strangely and does strange things. But after awhile, we got used to it. Everything weird about him will soon be normal and, by extension, the way its shown in his cabinet is likely to be. How did this happen so fast?
A year ago, the all-star team of creepy uncles Donald Trump rubs elbows with would have caused an hubbub. Women would have taken to the streets to protest their nominations. Men who cared about women would have joined them. Congressional switchboards and email inboxes would have been inundated with constituents voicing their disgust.
But now, it seems like were pretending that this is normal, and its always been normal. It isnt , and it hasnt.
In a normal year, someone like Stephen Bannon, who in 1996 was accused of mistreat and threatening his wife, would have been disqualified before his name was even publicly bandied about as a possible senior White House adviser. Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, before he operated a chain of fast food eateries best known for their ads featuring women garbed in bikinis stuffing their mouths full of greasy beef, was accused of abusing his wife in the 1980 s. Twice, the police were called to the couples home.
And then theres Trump himself. If his dozen or so accusers( and Trumps own words) are to be believed, hes Americas porcine answer to Pepe LePew. He degrades, he grabs, he intimidates, he insults, he bullies, he dehumanizes. His ex-wife and the mother of his pride and joy Ivanka once accused him of rape. Trump has claimed that nobody has more respect for women than he does, that women are smarter than men, and yet his inner circle is so disproportionately male that its like the 1960 s never ended.
If you look beyond Trump, Bannon, and Puzder, youll find other routes the ascendant cabinet has shown its collective disdain for women. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson is president of Exxon Mobil in 2015, when the company opposed calls from shareholdersto disclose information on gendered pay inequalities among the companys employees. Furthermore, Tillersons ExxonMobil wouldnt release information on what percentage of its top earners were women. The company 13 -member board contains only three women.
Of course, its easy to miss these little details in the resume of a candidate who is famously cozy with Vladimir Putin and operates a company that many who care about the earth find synonymous with cartoon villainy. But pay disparity and workplace sexism, to the women and households suffering from it, is hardly a little detail.
Thats why Secretary of Labor Puzders record as CEO of Hardees and Carls Jr ., beyond the abuse accusations( I cannot believe Im writing this in 2016) is especially troubling. He resists minimum wage increases and paid sick leave for employees. Women disproportionately work low-wage undertakings like the kind available at Puzders eateries, and are more likely to be the sole custodian for children. Minimum wage and labor issues might not sell a lot of Dove soap or copies of Vogue , but economic justice is as important a feminist fear as reproductive health. In a normal year, wed be talking about this.
And speaking of reproductive health, Trumps Health and Human Service pick Tom Price has never in 11 years as a congressman cast a single pro-choice vote.
Ben Carson, Trumps nominee to head the Department of Housing and Urban planning, this autumn demanded a female MSNBC guests microphone be cut off so he could continue making a point about why it didnt matter whether or not Donald Trump sexually assaulted women. In the same post-crisis press swing, he told a CNN anchor that she needed to hear more locker room talk, so the type Trump employed wasnt so shocking to her. Hes also blamed police shootings on feminism.
Senator Jeff Sessions, Trumps pick for Us attorney general, wasnt sure if grabbing someone private parts without their consent constituted sexual assault as recently as October. He has also opposed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. So did probable future HHS Secretary Tom Price, and Trumps proposed CIA head Mike Pompeo.
When Bannon was first brought up as a possible senior consultant, adversaries voiced their concerns. There was some pushback to the nomination of Sessions, albeit for his racism and not for the inherent sexism in his legislative record. But the fights died down. Roger Ailes, frequent sexual harassment lawsuit subject, continues to hang around Trump, subject of rumor after debunked rumor. Yesterday, former football great Jim Brown enjoyed an audience with the president-elect in Trump Tower. Brown has been accused of beating women half a dozen periods. Imagine the outrage if Barack Obama had a nice friendly sit-down with Ray Rice. Picture Hillary Clinton having a friendly meeting of minds with Greg Hardy.
Now, America is either shrugging in apathy or sighing in resignation.
Maybe its all too much. One Bannon, or one Sessions, or one Tillerson at a time would be a manageable thing to oppose with any hope of affect change. But now our opposition is scattered, unfocused. Maybe were paralyzed as a blitz of boorishness rainfalls down all around us.
There are so many objectionable things happening all at once that its impossible to know which one to bat down first. Its as though liberals returned home from a quick journey to the store only to find burglars stealing the television, a rat revelry in the bathtub, all of the pipes explode, and an army of cockroaches pouring through a brand new pit in the roof. Oh, and also, the house is on fire. Its simply: on fire. Decades of progress on issues of vital fear to girls are in danger of being undone by a cabal of pink old men with archaic opinions. Antiquated sexism is back, newborn! And weve decided to stand in the living room and criticism the wallpaper while laughter smugly about Kanye West.
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