The presidency of Donald Trump will be remembered for many things; his two impeachments, his saber-rattling against other nations, his consistent racism, and, of course, the storming of the Capitol building in Washington DC. That last act in particular will long linger in our memories and was a fitting reminder of just how extreme Donald Trump and his ardent loyalists are. Much of the discourse surrounding Trump’s departure from office has rightfully focused on that monumental event, drawing from it conclusions about the far-right nature of the Trump administration and the threat he undoubtedly posed to minority communities and to democracy in general.
What has drawn less focus in recent weeks, however, is the threat that Trump posed to women. His presidency represented a thinly veiled, four-year long assault upon feminist values and upon women in general. Trump now leaves behind him a political and judicial situation that is undoubtedly more conducive to the withdrawal of women’s rights than that which he inherited.
This should not surprise us as Donald Trump was a deeply misogynistic president, perhaps the most misogynistic in the nation’s history. As far back as 1992, Trump was vocal about his hatred of women, famously telling the New York Magazine that “you have to treat them like shit”. More recently, he has cemented his reputation as a misogynist with an array of offensive comments about female political opponents and celebrities. For example, of a rival for the Republican Party presidential nomination, Carly Fiorina, he noted “look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”. And who could forget the infamous leaked recording of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women? Even his own daughter is not immune to being objectified by him, with Trump sickeningly referring to her “very nice figure” and noting that “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.”
Donald Trump’s misogynism was not an electoral liability. On the contrary, it proved to be a strength. It held particular appeal for a crucial constituency of the electorate, the Christian right. On the surface, we might expect devout Christians to be discouraged from voting for Trump due to his sexualised way of speaking about women and his history of philandering, as well as the…