Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Enough with the paternalism on Trump's sexual assault comments

Posted By on Wed, Oct 12, 2016 at 7:31 AM

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Frank Bruni of the New York Times
says well something that had occurred to me and many others

You need not be a father of a daughter, husband of a wife,or brother of a sister to be outraged by Donald Trump's comments that celebrity gave him free rein to grab women's genitalia.

It is demeaning to phrase your outrage in that fashion, as virtually all the Republican politicians in Arkansas have done.

Republicans seem unable to censure Trump without invoking female spouses and especially offspring. In this version of Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the work is displaying concern for women, and the daughters are less protégées than props.
They should also invoke sons and the fervent hope that they'll be brought up better than 70-year-old Donald Trump was brought up. Bruni notes what's wrong with the teary-eyed father/husband/sister approach.

As Yochi Dreazen noted in a post for Vox, it cast men in the role of protectors and carried a stronger whiff of chivalry than of equality. It also defined women in terms of men and caring about them in terms of their places in men’s families.
When Tom Cotton or John Boozman or Bruce Westerman or any of the other Republican congressMEN from Arkansas talk about putting out the lights of a boor like Trump to defend their womenfolk, it should be considered in light of:

* Votes against the Violence Against Women Act.

* Votes against the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act.

* Votes to shut down Planned Parenthood's health services for women.

* Votes to limit women's reproductive rights.

* Votes against the Equal Rights Amendment

* Against medical privacy for rape victims.

* Against insurance coverage for mammograms.

I could go on. Bruni, a gay man with no daughters or a wife, concludes:

My loins are fruitless but my principles are clear: No human being — woman or man — should be regarded as a conquest or an amusement with a will subservient to someone else’s. That’s how Trump seems to treat most of the people in his life, and I object to that not as the brother of three admirable siblings (including a sister), not as the son of two extraordinary parents (including a mother), not as the uncle of many talented nieces and nephews, not as the partner of a wonderful man, and not as a friend to brilliant men and women whose welfare matters greatly to me.

I object to it as the citizen of a civilized society. I object to it because it threatens the people I don’t know as well as the people I do. I object to it because it’s wrong.
Amen. And it is also wrong that femininity's putative defenders in the Arkansas congressional delegation have amassed ahauvinistic record on legislation important to women.

PS: But, as the artwork shows, Trump has been a field day for the Internet.

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