By: Cassie Manz
Donald Trump has spent a little over six months in office. Given his well-known and publicized past, his recent comments about MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski may not come as a surprise. However, as a country, we cannot become complacent in calling out his sexist and misogynistic behavior. If we do so, we run the risk of normalizing his behavior and making it seem acceptable.
In a series of twitter posts on June 29 Trump described Brzezinski as “Low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and said she had been “bleeding badly from a face lift” when she attended a social event at his Mar-a-Lago residence around New Year’s Eve. In a later tweet he described her as “dumb as rock.” He also insulted Brzezinski’s fellow host, and fiance, Joe Scarborough, in the series of tweets calling him “Psycho Joe” and “crazy.”
During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, The Washington Post obtained a recording of Trump talking to television personality Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood.” In the taping, Trump was recorded saying that “when you’re a star” you can do anything to women, like kiss them without waiting or “grab ‘em by the pussy.” The video incited national outrage and criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. In an article for the New Yorker, writer John Cassidy wondered what the Republican party would do with four weeks left till the election and a candidate who “once described his behavior in terms that fit a sexual predator?” Most people seemed sure that the public airing of the tape was the end of Trump’s presidential bid. Yet, despite these horrific comments, Donald Trump won the election. Although he did not win the popular vote, people still voted for him, including fifty-three percent of white women, according to exit polls.
The next logical question is “How?” How did women vote for this man to become president after what he said about women? How did people find it within themselves to brush these comments away, and still check the box next to his name on the ballot? For me, I am still not sure what the answer is.
But, we cannot allow what happened then to happen now. As women, trans women, women of color, and LGBTQIA folks, we cannot normalize Donald Trump’s comments and actions or allow them to slip by unnoticed. We must call out his sexist and misogynistic behavior, simply because it is wrong and unacceptable, because it is oppressive to our very existence. We would do it if he was one of our coworkers, if he was a relative, if he was still just a real estate tycoon, and we must do it while he is the President of the United States. The stakes are too high.