Trump loves attacking women's looks. And America rewards him for it
Trump's vitriolic tweets about anchor Mika Brzezinski were vile, but so were his 'grab them by the pussy' comments. That didn't stop people voting for him
It’s official. America is stuck in an unrelentingly gruesome Groundhog Day. In the morning, Trump tweets something unhinged and/or misogynistic. Then a slew of commentators express their shock, even though Trump became president on a platform of unhinged misogyny. In the midst of all this, a member of the president’s band of female apologists (Melania, Ivanka, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Kellyanne Conway) is summoned to jump to Trump’s defense.
Then we spend the rest of the day enthralled in the reality-TV-style shenanigans while the Trump administration continues to dismantle democracy and hack away at healthcare.
In case you somehow missed the latest drama, here’s a quick recap. On Thursday morningTrump, the man who is president of a supposedly civilized country, took to Twitter to attack the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He reserved most of his vitriol for anchor Mika Brzezinski who he described as “low IQ”, “Crazy”, and “bleeding badly from a facelift.”
If all of this sounds horribly familiar it’s because it is. Trump is constantly attacking women’s looks and clearly has a bizarre obsession with bodily fluids. In 2015, for example, he accused then-Fox News Host Megyn Kelly of unfairly targeting him, saying “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
Despite the fact that Trump’s latest tweetstorm was entirely in character for the president, there were some in the media who still managed to express surprise at the outburst. Like Michael Grynbaum at the New York Times, for example, who wrote “President Trump assailed the television host Mika Brzezinski on Thursday in unusually personal and vulgar terms.” Sorry, did he say “unusually”? Exactly where has Grynbaum been for the last year?
And, on CNN, Brian Stelter wrote: “Even by President Trump’s standards, these tweets were shocking.” Again, you’d have to have been hiding under a rock for the last year to think that these latest tweets (although obviously disgusting) were somehow more shocking than the gazillion other ghastly things the president has said and done.
You want to know what’s truly shocking? The fact that, ultimately, Trump’s misogyny doesn’t hurt him at all; if anything it helps him. Sure there may be some short-lived outrage about his comments but let’s all remember how quickly the “grab them by the pussy” incident was forgotten.
Trump was elected president even after he was heard boasting about how liked to grab women without their consent – what’s more, 53% of white women voted for him. And if Trump were to run for president again tomorrow I have the feeling that 53% of white women would vote for him again. Misogyny runs deep in America and Trump has always used that to his advantage.
What’s more, internalized misogyny runs deep, too. A study last year by social intelligence company Brandwatch found that women were more likely than men to be misogynistic on Twitter. In an analysis of 19 million public tweets 52% of misogynistic tweets were written by women, and 48% were written by men.
Ed Crook, who led the research, told Mashable that “women were most likely to use derogatory language pertaining to promiscuity, appearance and animals (eg bitch, cow, mare).” Crook stressed that the study wasn’t mean to vilify women but to demonstrate the “normalizing of misogynistic language.”
And, indeed, Trump’s latest comments about Mika Brzezinski will have done little to hurt him with his most high-profile female supporters. Ann Coulter, for example, tweeted that Trump’s Morning Joe tweets had renewed her love for the president.
Trump’s latest comments aren’t an aberration in America. The fact that the most powerful man in the country is tweeting these things is a sad reflection that misogyny is the status quo.