How Being Sexist Actually Helps Donald Trump in Presidential Race

Even if the other Republican contenders are a bit less crazy than Trump, their positions on women’s issues are no less problematic.

Tsafi Saar
Tsafi Saar
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This combination made from Aug. 6, 2015 photos shows Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and Fox News Channel host and moderator Megyn Kelly.Credit: AP
Tsafi Saar
Tsafi Saar

If I was an American, I would be embarrassed to death that Donald Trump was one of the Republican candidates for president of the United States. And even - I repress the thought but this is what the American press claims - the leading Republican candidate. By God, you have Obama!

This Trump added another pearl to his recent chain of wisdom, which includes “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people” for example.  

After the first televised Republican presidential debate, in which moderator Megyn Kelly confronted him over the expressions he had used against women in the past, such as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” “disgusting animals,” and “it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees,” Trump commented about Kelly saying “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."

After the storm Trump created with these statements, he tried to explain that they were taken out of context and that a number of his best friends and managers are women. He also said that he did not, of course, intend to insinuate that Kelly was menstruating at the time, but maybe she had a nosebleed, adding that his critics were “deviants.” What can I say this is bizarre entertainment the Americans are providing, no doubt. I just want to wish them that this bizarre entertainment never reaches the White House.

Even if the other Republican contenders are a bit less crazy than Trump, their positions on women’s issues are no less problematic. The across-the-board objection to abortion - in other words the right of a woman to decide what to do with her own body –characterizes these candidates. Even in cases of rape and incest.

There is nothing left but to do but quote the Democratic senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren on this matter. “Do you have any idea what year it is?” Warren asked her Republican colleagues, during a speech in the Senate at the beginning of the month. “Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s? Or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s health-care centers."

“On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised,” she said. “The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies.”

Warren is right, of course. But the fact that the leadership of one of the two major parties in the United States supports such positions is worrying - and returns us to the question of whether sexism pays off.  After all, these politicians want to be elected.

Could such backward opinions - and repulsing the criticism while dismissing it as “politically correct,” one of the greatest contemporary sins – be helping them? What does this say about the public they are chasing after? What does this say about the situation of women in America? Yes, the very same America that we have become accustomed to think of as an “enlightened” nation - another indoctrination - a Western beacon on the hill shining light on a world of darkness. According to reports, Trump’s behavior during the debate and afterwards did not damage his support among Republicans. Yes, that is true.

In any case, to hear a group of men - politicians or those with any other profession - expressing their determined positions on matters of abortion seems to me insane. We are so used to hearing men expressing their opinions on every issue in the world, because for some reason this is considered legitimate even when the issue is what a completely private woman can do with her own private body. Even the right to property - a holy American principle - is not the point here, it turns out. Or maybe it does exist, since it is a principle of a society whose rules are set by men, and not by the woman whose bodies are in question.

The matter of the male opinion that is heard even when there is no reason whatsoever for it, receives a rather entertaining change when it concerns reports published all the time and deal with matters such as women’s orgasms; the g spot - yes, or no; the future of the clitoris; and such. It is completely common to read articles in which a long list of doctors and experts and sexologists - and who knows who else - are interviewed, most if not all of whom are men, and all of whom have a long list of esteemed titles and degrees, and they all are convinced that they know how a woman feels, or should feel (!), during orgasm very well.

I will take the risk here of carrying even greater attacks than usual, but I will allow myself, cautiously, to express the thesis that  sometimes, under certain conditions, even men may  not express their opinion immediately and decisively, and listen to other opinions. Maybe even those of women. Many of them were not educated for that in our charming society and are not used to it, but it certainly could be a refreshing innovation.

In any case, the world brought to the fore by these Republicans’ views - the best friends of our ruler here – is unappealing, even noxious.

But even if Donald Trump wins - maybe as someone who is seen as the last defense against the collapse of the old and pleasant status quo of sexism and racism, a world in which women, blacks, Mexicans and the rest of the riff raff know their place - every such protest, even if its results cannot be seen immediately, even if it brings about a backlash as usual - is a small step towards changing awareness, a very small step in the direction of the change that will take a very long time. But if we can be optimistic in August, which is heroic in and of itself - its time will come.