It is no secret that Americans love their celebrities. We idolize the rich and famous and are infatuated with their lifestyles. We are infinitely forgiving of their faults and hold them to incredibly low standards — we justify their wrongdoings in order to excuse our admiration. Whether it be drinking and driving, domestic violence, or rape, we are quick to overlook their offenses so we can keep watching their movies and listening to their music. Though this willful ignorance was certainly harmful before, it has taken on a whole new form this year with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
1. “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women – I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab ‘em by the pussy.” Donald TrumpTo Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, 2005
Imagine a university president saying this about his students. Imagine a university president saying, “I just start kissing them, I don’t even wait. When you have authority, they let you do it.” No one would let a man like that anywhere near their children, so how have we elected one to run the country?
2. The day after Fox News’ Megyn Kelly called Trump out on his many misogynistic comments about women, saying, “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” Trump said, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” August 2015
When confronted by a woman regarding his blatant misogyny, Donald Trump tried to invalidate her anger by saying she was on her period. He tried to humiliate her, and disregarded her concern about his treatment of women as legitimate because she is a woman, who apparently can only be angry when menstruating, which, of course, invalidates her anger. A man who sees women as objects existing only for his pleasure, who undermines women's concerns about sexism and inequality, who publicly humiliates women who dare challenge him, has been elected to the most powerful office in the world.
3. On his daughter, Ivanka:
“Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?” Miss Teen USA Pageant, 1997
Howard Stern: “By the way, your daughter… Can I say this? A piece of ass.” Donald Trump: “Yeah.” On The Howard Stern Show, 2004
“If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her.” On The View, 2006
“If I weren’t married and, ya know, her father…” Rolling Stone interview, September 2015
Imagine some new neighbors move in down the street. At a welcome party, the father says he would date his daughter if he weren’t her father, because she’s a “hot piece of ass.” Imagine the disgust people would feel, knowing their neighbor says sexual, degrading things about his daughter. Would that man be welcome at birthday parties? Would children go to his house for sleepovers? Well, that man is about to run our country for four years.
4. “It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” Celebrity Apprentice: All Stars, 2013
Unfortunately, this is something far too many women are used to hearing. We hear it on the street, we hear it on the radio, we hear it at parties, we hear it from our bosses. It is not something said by honorable men who respect women, it is something said by predators, who objectify, harass, and assault women. It is said by the boss who makes your skin crawl and your hands shake, by the stranger passing by who makes you fear for your safety. It is not a joke, it is not funny, and it is not something said by someone who is presidential material.
It is true that people make mistakes and say things they don’t mean, but when someone says the same thing over and over, year after year — believe them. Donald Trump’s comments about women are degrading and inexcusable. We cannot forgive and forget the things the future President of the United States has said about women.