By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Trump’s trip last week to NATO and subsequent visit to the UK will be one that goes down in the history books for a number of reasons and none of them good. However the thing Trump did that was not particularly notable or new was disregard, publicly disrespect, and generally attack women – women on the world stage.
A lot of things happened at the NATO summit – much of which was critically important. It ended with Trump proclaiming the European Union was a foe of the United States. Those are words that are both inflammatory and categorically untrue. They ring like a bomb coming out of the mouth of the US President. However, despite his remaking of the political map, the majority of the coverage regarding this trip prior to the Putin Summit was regarding Trump and a woman – or women.
Straight out of the gate, cameras rolling, Trump launched a scathing attack at German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying Germany was totally controlled by Russia. This was regarding an energy deal between Russia and Germany that has been controversial in many circles in the European community. Trump knew it might be a weak spot for her and wasted no time coming in hot on a subject where he looks like world’s biggest hypocrite. However, credibility isn’t Trump’s game. It’s shock and awe and it’s often lobbed at women.
Chancellor Merkel didn’t take it sitting down. She spoke to it boldly on the spot. However, his aggression towards women defies reason and he was undaunted by her rebuttal.
Next, he took aim at British Prime Minister Theresa May. In an interview, he proudly bragged that he told her how to run her country and complained he didn’t think she’d taken well to his mansplaining.
“I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say. But I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route,” Trump said, according to an audio of an interview posted by The Sun.
Trump said May “didn’t listen” to his views on how she should negotiate the UK’s exit from the European Union, but said that was “fine.”
Trump’s comments in the interview are an extraordinary and uncommon criticism of a foreign leader during a trip to that leader’s country. Trump was greeted by May in a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance Thursday evening just hours before the interview was released. This on a trip that saw the largest protests in the history of the UK – and those protests were against Trump.
Then there was the Queen of England – the moment when Trump decided to cut her off and walk in front of her in front of the British Press and the British Press didn’t like it. In fact, no one really liked it. Forget for a moment she’s the Queen. Let’s just admit the President of the United States cut off an old lady in front of the cameras. But she wasn’t just another woman. She’s the Queen of England. It’s just something you don’t do. The Queen’s own husband walks slightly behind her always. Whether you like it or not, it’s royal protocol and people follow it.
Trump later referred to the Queen as “so beautiful” – which strangely didn’t feel like much of a compliment in the context of the circumstances. It felt like objectifying or patronizing a ninety-some-year-old woman who has ruled a monarchy for longer than any monarch before her. He did what he does. He reduced her to her appearance after disrespecting her in public.
This is a president that whos legal team is doggedly fighting off a full legal assault by a pornstar he slept with and her attorney. This is a president who is hell-bent on appointing supreme court justices who will strike down Roe v. Wade, stripping women of the protected right to choose abortions. This is a president who has gutted Planned Parenthood and affordable access women’s healthcare. This is a man who routinely appears to disregard his wife and has been reported to be physically abusive to previous spouses. This man got elected bragging about “grab em by the pussy”.
And while “grab em by the pussy” seems like a long time ago, it’s still the central theme of how he treats women. He takes what he wants and takes a scorched earth approach to domination where he can’t.
Women are the largest voting block in this country – by enough to get beyond the margins of foreign election tampering. If there was ever a time to stop voting party lines and vote for our own interests, that time is now. If Trump can’t respect the most powerful women in the world, there is no reason to think he will respect any one of us.
In the end, though, the joke may be on him because individually and collectively, if we vote, each one of us is more powerful than the Queen of England, PM Theresa May, and Chancellor Merkel combined.
Start now. Make your plan to vote in November. It’s not too early to start getting ready. Ask for the day off work now if you need to. Double check your voter registration and eligibility status to make sure you haven’t been purged from the voter rolls. Get your ballot by mail of that’s an option. And if not, make a plan to get to the polls under marshal law if you have to – and I say that only partially kidding.
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Lisa M. Hayes, Senior Editor of Confluence Daily.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.