What has been the most disturbing element of this presidential election for me personally is contemplating the effects of this election on the treatment of women in this country, as the father of a teenage daughter. In this election, we saw a very clear choice - between someone who is probably the most qualified person to ever run for president (having been the first lady for eight years, a United States Senator, and the Secretary of State, not to mention her foreign affairs knowledge accumulated by being part of the Clinton Global Initiative); and the person who is literally and indisputably the least qualified person to ever run for president, entirely and demonstrably unqualified to hold the office, or qualified only in the constitutional sense of being a citizen of a certain age. 
And note, there were a lot of criticisms brought against Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, and most of them were fair criticisms (of his racially and religiously charged rhetoric, his inexperience and apparent ignorance of global affairs, of his expressed intentions to institute an autocratic, authoritarian regime - limiting religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of press). However much his loyal faithful might disregard such criticisms as hyperbolic and ridiculous, it is undeniably the case that they are based upon things that Trump said, and in most cases, said emphatically and numerous times. One simply doesn't get the unvarnished support of the KKK, the American Nazis, the Neo-Nazis, and every other right-wing, white nationalist hate group, unless one is saying something that those groups like. And for Christ's sake, even members of his own party have not shied from such accusations, with Paul Ryan accusing Trump of 'textbook racism,' and Lindsey Graham (no friend of the liberals, so far as I can tell), saying, "He's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot." 

BUT, the important thing to note about these criticisms: not one of them argues, implies, or otherwise suggests that Trump was or is unqualified to be president on the basis of his sex. Not one of these critics has suggested that Trump was ignorant, weak, deceitful, duplicitous, or otherwise unqualified, on the basis of his being a man. Not one. And were I to venture a guess, I'd speculate that in the entire virtual world of social media, and throughout every dinner table, church foyer, and living room in America, no such criticism was ever made. But such criticisms were made, and have been made her entire political career, of Hillary Clinton. The words 'Trump that *!#$%' were prevalent at Trump's rallies and on his supporters' garb, as were the chants of 'Lock her up!'. Throughout the social media sphere were off the cuff remarks, innuendos, and jokes about a woman's lack of tenacity and temerity in the context of a dangerous world such as we face. There were signs along the highway, "Choose Trump/Pence, Not Her," which directly connects one's reason for not choosing Hillary to her sex. No such signs said, "Choose Hillary, Not Him." 

Not to mention, and this cannot be overstated, such sexually discriminatory terms were used by the president-elect himself. Of both Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton, Trump made comments about their appearances. Then of course we have the infamous Billy Bush tapes, in which Trump boasts about how rich and powerful men can do whatever they want to a woman, claims which he later casually shrugged off as 'locker room banter.' Through the course of his campaign, numerous women came forth and accused him of sexual assault. In many cases, Trump's responses to those women were that the accusations were ludicrous, on the basis that the women were not hot enough for him to assault. (Again, I'm not exaggerating). He just named as one of his chiefs of staff a far-right zealot who has previously been accused of domestic violence. And in electing Trump president of the United States, Americans have emphatically stated that they were willing to overlook all of those horrifying details, not to mention Trump's utter lack of experience, global knowledge, or preparation for the office, choosing him over Hillary. 

This sends a clear message to young women and girls in this country: if you are a woman with high aspirations, know that you will be subject to criticisms, mockery, and other obstacles to which your male counterparts will not be subjected. Your physical appearance will be mocked and denigrated, and you will be deemed unfit to lead on the basis of that belittling - be pretty, but not whorish. Your emotional status will be constantly scrutinized - be passionate about causes such that you connect with everyday folks, but be also cool, detached, and eminently rational. Most importantly, know that, whatever criticisms are leveled against you, they will be tied explicitly and implicitly to your status as a woman. This election demonstrated that, if one is a man, there is nothing, literally nothing, that ultimately disqualifies one in the public eye, but, one's being a woman is itself a significant obstacle. As I saw on Facebook, (and I'm paraphrasing): "What I learned from this election: it is still better to be a racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic misogynist, than it is to be a woman." 

As the father of a daughter, this was the aspect of this election most troubling to me. And it is positively horrifying to me that many other fathers and mothers currently share these fears, but moreover, I am saddened, disgusted, ashamed, and appalled by the fact that those folks belonging to groups that in any way deviate from that of the white, heteronormative male face such fears on a drastically augmented and intensified scale. 
 


Comments

11/17/2016 10:20pm

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11/29/2016 9:50pm

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12/05/2016 4:07am

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I do agree. I am very worried with our newly elected president. I mean why would people even vote for him, he is not qualified and he doesn't know anything on being president. I don't understand why people would trust a person who doesn't know a thing about respect for women, racism, LGBT and the other issues. We can all hope for a better tomorrow everyday because he will be our president for quite some time. Let's hope that the women of this country won't be harmed and disrespected.

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03/27/2017 5:54am

Many people in the U.S. don't like Trump as their newly elected president because of his plans that will change the country and the whole world as well. A person will have a big impact or influence in the country once he/she became a president of that country. Women's right is one of the very important thing to include in the plans of the president. As the father of a daughter, I know how important to you to respect and protect your daughter. I very much agree on everything that you said here in your blog.

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