Unless you’re lived under a rock for the past year you’ll be well aware that business tycoon Donald Trump is running for President of the United States as the Republican nominee. You’ll be aware that he’s made some high-profile comments across a range of topics, including controversial remarks about building walls to keep out Mexicans and banning Muslims from entering America. His bigotry has been on display from day one, yet his party has, more or less, stuck with him (partly because they had no other choice), tolerating his remarks. However, once the topic shifted to white America, everything changed (and this highlights the hypocrisy of the GOP). Suddenly his comments weren’t tolerable. Republicans have been lining up to condemn his statements about women – though there is hypocrisy within hypocrisy here, for Trump has been saying sexist things for years. I guess a critical mass of misogyny has to be reached before Republicans can take action. Makes me think of this picture actually:
Hopefully you see what I’m getting at.
So Trump has tried to dismiss his latest comments as ‘locker room’ talk. Unfortunately this ‘banter’, especially from someone as high-profile as he, carries influence. It creates the idea that grabbing at women as though they are objects is perfectly acceptable, even more so if you’re rich.
There is opposition to this. The marvellous George Takei had this to say on Twitter:
He is spot on. This is a real problem and not one to be ignored. It’s why feminism remains relevant in western society. Yes, there are other parts of the world where women suffer more. Not going to deny that. This doesn’t mean women don’t face ongoing problems here in the UK, or in the USA, or across Europe. What I’d like to present now is a group of comments made to George Takei on Facebook, regarding this very matter:
Are you suitably incensed? I haven’t yet my voice to the chorus of those who have condemned Roger’s attitude, but the sorry state of affairs here is that Roger no more cares about the plight of women in Africa or Asia than he does those in the US. He simply wants to silence discussion on the problems women face in the West. By trivialising them, he hopes to marginalise them.
Here’s the thing. We have to start with our immediate sphere of influence. Yes, the problems faced by women in some parts of the world are worse than those faced by women in other parts of the world. However, for a woman in the UK to tackle problems faced by a woman in Africa is going to beyond them whilst facing their own problems. We shouldn’t be telling people ‘your problems don’t matter because of X’. That isn’t helpful. Let’s start by affecting our sphere of influence.
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