Thursday Thought: What Is the Truth on Trump and Women?

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“Too many people are treating this as another day’s headline.”

That was Michelle Obama’s response to Donald Trump’s latest comments about women.

But controversial comments from The Republican nominee for President of the United States are nothing new. In 2005, whilst he was travelling to film for a popular soap opera (Days of Our Lives), he made reference to women, boasting:

When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want…grab them by the p****.

Following the discovery of this video, Trump tried to justify his behaviour by describing it as ‘locker room talk.’ Is it though?

The fact is Donald Trump has an extensive history of making controversial and degrading comments about women. This is the man who has reached the final stage of the presidential election, overtaking Hilary Clinton by a single percentage point in a poll by ABC.

It’s undeniable that he causes controversy. But what really inspired the First Lady’s passionate speech in New Hampshire?

Here are some of the comments that outraged so many people around the world:

You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass

This was during an interview with Esquire magazine when George HW Bush was president.

Trump’s focus on women and their looks has been ever present in both his career and personal life.

Buying Miss USA in 1997 is an example of this. When responding to the question of potential pageant changes, he replied; “I’m going to get the bathing suits to be smaller and the heels to be higher”. Not the most professional response.

You’re disgusting.

This was the comment Trump made to a female lawyer, when she asked for a medical break to pump breast milk for her baby during a court case.

Trump was testifying in regard to a failed Florida real estate project in 2011, when the lawyer responded to urgency and took out her breast pump. Both Trump and his team objected, before he made the comment and left the room. Since when is feeding your child disgusting?

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Trump and his daughter Ivanka

I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.

Most people will read this and feel very, very uncomfortable.

This was Trump describing what a great figure his daughter has, whilst on TV chat show The View in March 2006. Ivanka Trump has being working alongside her father during the election, but has appeared unfazed by his comments about women.

The only card [Hillary Clinton] has is the woman’s card… frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.

The woman’s card.

Michelle Obama highlighted in her speech that women have been fighting for a sense of equality for hundreds of years. Yet still, here in 2016, a woman reaching this stage of the election is being  questioned. Someone running for presidency in one of the world’s most powerful countries is doubting the importance of equality. 

Nobody has more respect for women than I do.

Given his repertoire of statements about women, this comment is almost comical.

It was made by Trump during the final presidential debate with Clinton, with regard to the sexual assault allegations against him. Many women would disagree with Trump’s view on what ‘respect’ means.

These statements cast an element of worry over the future of young Americans, if Donald Trump is to win the election.

Some of his messages encourage a backward society, with more tension between the sexes. This is what young people would grow up hearing from their president. It isn’t just the attitudes of young women that are at risk, it’s men and boys too. Do parents around the world really want their children thinking this is a respectful way to treat women?  In the words of Michelle Obama,

This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human dignity. It’s about right and wrong.