Teachable Moments About Misogyny and Other Prejudices

We have to give Donald Trump credit. He has offered so many teachable moments about misogyny and other prejudices in this campaign. His bigotry toward Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, and long history of objectifying women, have been exposed — we see him evaluating women as if they were livestock, making humiliating comments about their appearance, grabbing their private parts in public places for momentary sexual pleasure.

This has led to public revulsion, not unlike the revulsion to seeing fire hoses sprayed on peaceful African American demonstrators in Alabama in the early 1960s.

I heard a piece on NPR today about how Mexican women are now “blowing the whistle,” literally, on the men who grab them in public, which has been a pervasive problem in that country. We have Donald Trump to thank for this development.
I couldn’t believe he said in the debate that he hadn’t apologized to his wife, especially since she had just given a painful interview the day before in which she said he had apologized “deeply” for what he said and did. In the debate, she looked pained as if she had been struck. Who wants to take bets on how long that marriage lasts?

The exposure of misogyny is a long time coming. In historical terms, it’s remarkable that the highest glass ceiling for women hasn’t broken even after the glass ceiling for African Americans was broken eight years ago.

It will take years, perhaps decades longer, to leave the era of identity politics — which started in 1972 with quotas for women and African Americans at the Democratic National Convention (and great ridicule) be coming to an end?

Certainly there are other minorities that aspire to full acceptance in the American story — Latinos, gays, transgender individuals — and we’ve never actually had a Jewish or Muslim or even Mormon president. So there are other barriers to be broken.

But we seemed in 2016 on the verge of breaking a major, symbolic glass ceiling against women, and after breaking the glass ceiling against African Americans eight years ago, the other ceilings don’t seem as high. Alas, that was not to be.

America is yet to become a nation that demonstrates that, symbolically at least, it judges individuals not on the color of their skin, gender or ethnicity, but truly, on their qualifications for the job.


  • Feminists Thank Donald Trump: “For decades, feminists have tried to stir outrage about how women are routinely groped, belittled, and weight-shamed. Yet Mr. Trump’s words and boasts have shown millions of voters, including people who believe feminism is a dirty word, what women endure every day.”
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