It is no surprise that a recent Gallup Poll reported 7 in 10 women have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. Most presidential candidates make it a mission to be on their best behavior during an election that carries so much weight. When presidential candidates are under fire for ignorant comments, they are usually comments made in the past. Trump, however, continues to assert sexist remarks throughout the present campaign — and each time, his solid support hardly stirs.
Trump’s gender gap is larger than any of the other major presidential candidates, yet he is doing particularly well in national polls. Can Trump win the presidency without the support of 70 percent of women in the country? Making up 51 percent of the general population, women create a powerful voting force — a Republican presidential nominee has not won the women’s vote since George Bush in 1988.
One of Trump’s most controversial comments transpired from an ongoing quarrel with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly near the beginning of the election season. In a CNN interview, Trump was asked what went on between him and Kelly during the first Republican presidential debate. Trump responded that Kelly was asking him ridiculous questions and that he could, “see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever.” These early comments offended many and established a negative character in the Trump campaign.
Unfortunately those particular sexist remarks against Kelly were only the beginning of a series of demeaning comments against women. Trump has had a long history of insulting women by attacking their appearance. In 2014, Trump said to a female reporter, “You wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.” These remarks were not only incredibly insulting to women across the world, but they sent a regressive message to generations of young women aiming to join the workforce. It doesn’t stop there. In a 2015 Rolling Stone interview, Donald Trump insulted the appearance of then-presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina. He said, “Look at that face. Would anybody vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on.”
The true irony in the situation lies in the almost innocent demeanor Trump carries. He doesn’t even realize what he is doing wrong. He recently told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that, “I cherish women. I want to help women. I’m going to do things for women that no other candidate will be able to do. And it’s very important to me.”
I’m sorry, Mr. Trump, but you cannot continuously degrade, sexualize and belittle women and then claim that you cherish them.
Even worse, Trump is not trying to apologize or justify any of his comments. His responses to backlash is that our country is too politically correct and the media is to blame for distorting his words. However, there is little room for interpretation for many of the offensive remarks Trump has made, including a tweet reading, “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
The types of comments glamorized by Donald Trump are more than just offensive; they’re dangerous. They’re dangerous to a society where women are only on the cusp of equality. Trumps unwavering popularity sends the message that his sexist comments are not only acceptable to say, but presidential material. If Trump wins the presidency, progress in women’s rights will not only halt, but reverse.