These words were echoed by the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. Trump was being interviewed on the ABC network, along his running mate, vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence when he said these very words:
”I just don’t think she has a presidential look. And you need a presidential look. You have to get the job done.”I think if she went to Mexico, she would’ve had a total failure. We had a great success”.
Though this wasn’t the only things that he spoke about in the interview, his remarks did spark controversy. Some people believe that he was attacking his opponent, Hillary Clinton’s ability to maintain sanity and ability to handle the job of the presidency. Other people believed that his comment had a sexist undertone to it. And this isn’t the first time that his remarks has generated disapproval and controversy either. However I believe that his remarks is highly rooted in sexism as well as mudslinging, which is apart of the political process.
In every election process, candidates attack their opponents and try to convince the populace to vote for them. The 2016 election isn’t any different from this phenomenon at all. But this country has progressed so much that there is a fifty percent chance that a woman, Hillary Clinton might become president of the United States . Nonetheless, Trump was implying that Hillary Clinton wasn’t physically fit enough to handle the rigorous schedule of being a president. Or mentally sane enough to maintain her dignity and ability to think clearly to make decisions, that might affect the whole country. There is some truth to Donald Trump’s claims due to Hillary Clinton’s recent health scare when she fainted at an 9/11 related event in New York and was diagnosed with pneumonia. But Hillary isn’t a stranger to attacking Donald Trump either. She has made speeches attacking Trump’s economic plan, his devious antics and even called half of Trump’s supporters, ”deplorables”. Mudslinging and attacking every aspect of their opponent’s existence is very common so I believe that he was partially attacking Hillary’s ability and liability to handle the gruesome schedule and job of becoming the president of the United States.
Sexism also plays a role in these remarks towards Hillary Clinton. Trump is known for being sexist and demeaning towards women. His disrespectful and spiteful behavior towards Fox News moderator, Megyn Kelly in the first GOP debate last August was disgusting. Megyn Kelly addressed him putting down women he didn’t like by calling them fat slobs, disgusting pigs etc. Kelly even mentioned his comment, ” She looked pretty on her knees” to a female contestant on his reality TV show, Apprentice. After the debate, he disrespected Megyn and called her a ”light weight journalist” on his Twitter page. Do you believe that Donald Trump would have called her a ”light weight journalist” if she was a man instead? I doubt it. Donald Trump was even quoted saying in the past that working mothers were ”inconvenient” for the workplace. Why would any woman want to elect a man who has such views about women? Imagine how he would address a Black or Hispanic woman if one of them were to ever find themselves in a position where they are being put down by Donald Trump.
Here is a video of the whole incident with Megyn Kelly:
Donald Trump’s remarks about her not having a presidential look is also rooted in sexism. Look at his past record of referring to and treating women as lesser than. He truly believes that since Hillary Clinton is a woman that she is less capable of handling the job of the presidency. He also believes that her gender disables her the ability to carefully think about solutions to the problems facing Americans. There is a belief that only men should be in leadership positions because men were seen as more logical and more intelligent than women. This belief also plays into the lie that women are too emotional to handle such high risk jobs and that they can’t logically think through ways to solve a problem like a man can. This thinking plays into normality of White, male, heterosexual, able bodied autonomy in a society that highly values these attributes. Anyone who is a woman, minority, disabled or any other sexual or gender identify that seeks leadership and higher positions will face reprisal and discrimination for their efforts. That is partially what Hillary is facing and seeing especially with Trump’s remarks about her not having a ”presidential look”. Fortunately, women have more rights to assert themselves in society by being able to work outside of the home, seek higher education, venture up to higher positions at their jobs and have ownership of their homes and other property. However, sexism still continues to rear it’s ugly head in society. Trump’s remarks is just another example of the broader sexism and misogyny that women face in a patriarchal society.
Ultimately, the combination of mudslinging and sexism contributed to Donald Trump making such a remark. It is common for any presidential candidate to attack their opponent but it is also obvious that his remark was rooted in patriarchal belief of male superiority. ”Not having a presidential look” is also an indication of the fact that he doesn’t believe or think a woman is capable of becoming and managing the presidency. Let Trump’s remarks sink into your conscious and think about the implications of his blatant sexism and disrespect of women before deciding to vote for him.
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