Donald Trump's Comments To Women As President Haven't Improved Much
Though the president had a long history of making flagrant comments prior to the 2016 election, many of his backers said that he would become more presidential once he took office. We've all heard that person who defends the commander in chief, saying, "That's the old Trump," or "He'll settle down soon." But President Donald Trump's comments to women haven't gotten any less terrible since the inauguration.
Sure, we all remember those days when then-presidential candidate Trump questioned Hillary Clinton's abilities, or called her a "nasty woman," or suggested that people wouldn't vote for Carly Fiorina because of her face. (These represent a small sampling.) But it didn't stop when the election was over.
For your convenience, we've highlighted the public comments he's made while president, in chronological order. For further reading, The Telegraph has a wonderful, emotionally exhausting timeline documenting every (known) sexist comment Trump has made.
Before we start, I'll address the rebuttal I know is coming: But wait, some of these comments sound like compliments!
Sexism wears many hats: It can look like fatherly protection or "being a gentleman." It can be as blatant as catcalling or as subtle as highlighting an employee's looks before her capabilities. (See: benevolent versus hostile sexism.) The point is, all of these are based on the fact of gender, and none of them are any less harmful. Trump has managed to diversify his sexism to cover the spectrum, finding an extraordinary number of ways to paint women as inferior.
This was one of many press conferences for which the president would get a deserved earful. When reporter April Ryan asked Trump about his agenda for urban and inner cities, he suggested she set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.
His racist comments, while embarrassingly reductive, weren't explicitly sexist, yet those lines blur quickly for women of color. His suggestion that a female reporter do the administrative tasks of a secretary (which the president himself already has) undermines her as a professional. It's another nail in the coffin of disparaging comments to women in the media.
Trump interrupted a foreign call with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to flirt with reporter Caitriona Perry. He pointed her out, saying "we have all this beautiful Irish press," and actually called her over to his desk. Once she was in the hot seat, he continued, saying to Varadkar,
She has a nice smile on her face, so I bet she treats you well.
This is multi-level creepy. Asking a professional, on the job, to physically approach him so he could better look at and comment on her appearance is beyond inappropriate. Trump behaves like he can beckon a woman and she will always come, smiling. Over the years, he's made clear that he regards women as objects to be rated, beauty pageant contestants or not.
It was a tough week to be a female TV presenter in Trump's crosshairs. Just the next day, the president lashed out at Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe. Seemingly unprovoked (other than the show's regular criticism of his administration), Trump called her "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and suggested she'd had cosmetic surgery. Add that to the list of age-related sexism.
On his visit to France, Trump commented on the French first lady's body. He first said to Emmanuel Macron's wife, Brigitte Macron,
You're in such good shape.
After a few other such saccharine comments, it looked as though the first lady actually took a step back from Trump and drew closer to Melania as if in support. She certainly didn't look comfortable, in any case.
Reebok -- along with most of the rest of the world -- took notice of Trump's wildly inappropriate comments.
We're not even into September yet. At this rate, Trump could have close to 30 instances of public sexist comments by the end of his first term.