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With the looming reality of a Trump vs. Democrat showdown next November, it is necessary to consider what a Trump presidency would mean for America. Given the misogyny that has become such a centerpiece of his campaign, it’s safe to assume there would be serious ramifications for women in America.
A Trump presidency is a threat to women. Not only because of his policy suggestions which, while vague, are aggressively anti-choice, but also because of his brand of toxic masculinity. It reflects in his supporters and creates a very real atmosphere of violent misogyny.
A natural place to begin when considering a presidential candidate is their political policy proposals. Trump’s proposals however, consist of plans to “build a wall, shoot everyone outside of it, and pee on everything in the White House.” This reveals his deranged and insubstantial information about his plans for America, much less his plans for women’s health and rights. The only available information on policies relating to women’s rights comes from what he has espoused in debates and interviews.
On March 30th, Trump told Chris Matthews that, were abortion illegal, women who receive abortions should be punished. Like wildfire, this gaffe quickly infected the internet prompting his spokespeople to release a statement clarifying his position. This new, press-revised position, states that abortion doctors should be punished, while the women are themselves victims.
A few days later Trump’s campaign went further and stated that Trump would elect pro-life judges and do his best to ensure abortion is illegal during his presidency.
The reaction from the pro-choice lobby was swift and clear. In a statement, Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, emphasizes the concrete dangers of the views of Trump and his ilk; “The feigned concern over Trump’s ‘extremism’ belies the reality of the damage to women’s health and lives already caused by elected officials’ successful efforts to chip away at abortion access.” She reminds the public that anti-choice attitudes like Trump’s literally put women’s “lives and health at stake.”
Similarly, Emily’s List spokeswoman Marcy Stetch told NBC News that Trump is a “truly dangerous man” in light of what he has espoused.
They are not wrong. According to the University of Texas’ Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP), decreasing access to abortion increases rates of self-induced abortion, which have a high risk for injury and death.
Miller also reminds America that the “impact” of such severe anti-choice stances disproportionately harm women of color, low-income, and rural demographics. This claim is backed by a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, in which it was shown that those particular sectors are the ones most affected by the removal of reproductive healthcare centers like Planned Parenthood.
Ravneet Vohra, founder and Editor-in-Chief of the intersectional feminist publication Wear Your Voice Magazine, is not at all shocked by such a claim.
“Of course it is going to disproportionately harm women of color,” she tells BTRtoday. “All genders of color. The trouble is Trump is a narcissist who only believes people who look like him, which is rich, white men.”
This precisely encapsulates Trump’s persona and influence.
The danger of Trump is not limited to his views on reproductive policy, as repugnant as those might be. His sexist, racist narcissism bleeds out to create a hostile environment surrounding his campaign.
Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged on March 29th with battery after grabbing a reporter attempting to question the candidate. Security cameras confirm that he roughly pulled her arm and grabbed at her clothes.
The incident itself was telling of Lewandowski and of Trump for hiring him to run his campaign but the more significant segment came after the incident, in both men’s reactions. Not only did Trump aggressively defend Lewandowski, but both men aimed a defiant smear campaign against Fields. They claimed she was a “delusional” attention seeker and Trump accused her of changing her story to fit the resulting media storm.
In light of security footage and eye witness accounts that support Fields’s story, PolitiFact has rated both men’s denials of the incident and personal accusations hurled at Fields as “Pants on Fire” levels of lying.
Every time Trump opens his mouth about women, a stream of disgusted chauvinism pours out. It makes complete sense that this would translate into misogynistic policy suggestions and violent, sexist behavior. The truly horrifying reality is that this behavior won’t be limited to him or even his staff.
Recall the infamous exchange between Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump that took place last August. She questioned his electability in light of calling women “fat pigs,” “slobs,” and disgusting animals.” He later commented on her question in various interviews, saying she was “sick,” “crazy” and that she had “blood coming out of her wherever,” which one can easily translate to “she was crazy and on her period.”
This episode of his campaign revealed what people could fairly assume about Trump: he’s sexist, he doesn’t like women questioning him, or appearing to have any sort of power over him. But the aftermath of the exchange revealed a lot more than that.
Trump’s supporters flocked in misogynistic droves to attack her. The amount of vicious tweets aimed at her with language like “cunt,” bitch,” “slut,” and “whore,” went through the roof.
Moreover, death threats came rolling in. Kelly told Charlie Rose that it is less about what Trump himself says and more about how he “gins up anger among so many.” It’s an anger that has her concerned for the safety of her children.
Other women have already been physically attacked by Trump’s supporters.
On March 31st, a 15-year-old girl was groped and pepper-sprayed by a middle-aged Trump supporter at a Trump rally. She was with Black Lives Matter activists, protesting the culture of violent racism they claim his campaign fosters.
She was groped and pepper-sprayed for an act of political protest in a free country. This directly stems from the hyper-masculinity brewing that Trump promotes. As Vohra expounds saying, “as people, we are naturally attuned to listening to people with power.”
Is this the culture of a country that fosters the respect and freedom of women?