Trump and Misogyny- Is it reflective of Sexual Violence in Politics?
“Male silence is what encourages and advances violence against women and rape culture. Men must stand up against the sexism and culture that Trump is trying to mainstream. This work cannot be left to survivors!” Politicsusa (dot) com reported. A couple of things stand out in the quote – male, silence, violence against women, sexism, Trump, survivors. Much of sexism may lead to violence against women but not all instances of violence can be solely or majorly attributed to sexism. Sexism is a mental disorder and violence against women is a human right demolition. The intensity varies. By using the term ‘survivors’, we imply that all women ought to feel the same way about the same thing and that there is unanimous agreement on perception of being a survivor. Humans live in spectrum. This perspective is crucial while discoursing about gender dynamics. In the context within which the word ‘silence’ is used, is actually a deafening misogynistic roar. If political leaders, influencers and opinion leaders need to embody the value system we want to see in society at large; then we need to also scrutinize to whom the demented leaders are talking to. Who are those elements in the society which resembles them? Trump is part of the society. He was created by it and there are many more out there like him.
The sexist comments made by Trump and as documented by The Telegraph can make one’s stomach churn. Trump’s comments and thoughts are humiliating for the opposite sex, revolting and it is seriously outrageous how much he gets away by saying and believing what he does. He has made sexual comments about his own daughter, degrading comments about his wife, subjected beauty pageant contestants to disgraceful objectification and made downright heinous comments about women in general. Micheal Bradley of The Drum TV explains this phenomenon further by explaining that Trump outrages people and polarizes them in views. Once the population is thus divided, he optimizes on his supporters and gives more hate fodder to his haters. The reaction garnered from the haters, further fuels his supporters and creates the desired swell in the latter’s quantity.
Quoting Bradley “…Trump is not Hitler although he is equivalently irresponsible and narcissistic, but he has no discernible personal ideology beyond the sheer delight of being the center of attention. He is not a buffoon. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and he exhibits similar mastery of the strings of mass appeal as did Hitler. But his motivation and goals are completely different. Trump’s audience is angry. This anger is founded in a sense of irretrievable loss and hopeless, helpless despair. The consequence is a mob. By principle, rationality, logic and objective truth play no part in how a mob moves. A mob doesn’t think; It feels. Almost everyone in the world is latently racist to at least some extent. When a big enough section of society feels lost and alienated from the power structures which govern them, and a putative leader comes along who speaks the language of their rage and promises to speak brutal, impolitic truth to that power; Then if that leader understands the emotional levers of his audience, he can turn it into a mob and wield its force for his own ends. That’s Trump in a nutshell. He gets all this. He plays the cards of racism, misogyny, inclusion/exclusion and demonisation of ‘The Other’ in whatever form is momentarily convenient, to manipulate the elevated emotions of the mob he has attracted and keep his face plastered all over the news. He wants to be President. It’s possible, if the mob keeps growing and maintains its present rage. Trump is a shameless populist demagogue with no regard for facts, law, morality or humanity.”
Even if Trump’s misogyny is only to polarize and get people foaming at their mouths; yet, he could potentially be the next President of the United States and thus the dictator of international trade and peace treaties. This fact alone makes his stand of issues, unacceptable (to put it mildly). Having said that, claiming that Trump is generating misogyny would be untrue for he is catering to an existing section of the society that form his supporter base. Politics world over, is less about an individual and more about the system created by that individual and run by many others like him or her. Trump needs to be put in check yes; but we need to stop slathering politics on gender issues. In doing so, we run into the danger of reducing gender movement to political activities that are manipulated by individuals who when given enough leeway become maniacal power mongers. The real virus is an entire section of society which supports Trump. There are many more like him across the world.
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