Now that the media is engaging in a feeding frenzy over the revelation that Trump is a misogynist (just don't tell Rosie O'Donnell), we might look past the diversion which is currently engaged in stating the obvious. Let's just take a look at the underbelly of the myth enshrouding this Oompa Loompa presidential candidate and the concomitant social and political constructions of sexism which indicate that Trump is every bit the misogynist he claims he is not in addition to those who minimise these events as "boys will be boys" locker-room chatter. Even CNN's latest headline reads, "Has Trump Finally Gone Too Far?" takes up this task, asking a question whose answer has long ago been answered, now querying if misogyny (or even more misogyny) is something that not only women must tolerate, but CNN's online readership must also endure.
The reason why liberals are so outraged over Trump is because what was caught on tape is what most men on both sides of the political aisle readily think and do. While it is easy for male rockers to boycott venues in North Carolina because putting effeminate men in their toilets is anathema, it is virtually unheard of that any of them boycott even one state where women are denied reproductive freedom, where females are thrown into prison for miscarriage, or where women are barred access from speaking about her pregnancy through language that actually addresses the reality of the female body. While men express shock at Trump's descriptives of women, his use of language is somewhat anodyne compared to the abusive, misogynist language that women regularly receive online. So why are all the neoliberal and leftists feigning shock at Trump's regard for women?
Here's my theory: so many leftist men twitterbated their outrage about Trump because it is in their best interest to keep the Trumps of the universe fixed in time as totemic mastheads from which the male subject can step away, finger point, and state, "I'm not like him," only to turn around, close the door, and whisper similar other derivative formulations of the female body, linguistically cut up as it would be on the butcher's counter: breasts, pussy, hormones, hairdo. Our brains and mouths (when allowed to speak) are just inconvenient anatomical parts that need not matter. That is unless we admit their lady quintessence.
Just as CNN's front page yesterday juxtaposed Trump's troubled campaign with links to Johnny Depp's multimillion-dollar house and Jay Leno's vast collection of vintage automobiles, we can safely confirm that men's role today is still to accumulate wealth and objects, central to which is hinged the harnessing of women. The message conveyed by CNN could not be more unambiguous: wealthy men behave like "boys" collecting houses far too big for them, while owning dozens of automobiles simply because they can. Appearances are everything to these men for whom vapidity and consumerism rank at the centre of their lives. Is it any surprise that Trump falsely believes that the women he is interested in must be conquered, grabbed, reduced to her anatomy? And the minute she refuses his advances, she must then be rebuked for her appearances, and on and on...and on some more.
So of course leftist, neoliberal men were not upset because of Trump's actions. They were merely upset that his words were caught on tape, and now (wink wink) their collective secret is out. And this secret refers to what men talk about, what men really think of women when they are not talking about their wealth, luxury cruises, and other material agglomerations. Goodness forbid that females have conversations with each other in the absence of male guardians about their lives, their somatic autonomy, their need for childcare, and equal pay. Instead we are given the age-old tug of war of bipartisanship whereby men on the left and the right are expressing shock and outrage over Trump's language.
None, however, seem somewhat bothered about the actual suffering of women because of the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault which all women must negotiate in one form or another throughout their lives. Or, more problematically, that today major media tap dances around the politics of identity clouding the reality of the sexed body which demarcates whose pussy is grabbed and who does the grabbing. Add to this Twitter's recent and ongoing sexual assault confessional, and the catechism of these admissions does absolutely nothing to change the reality that created Donald Trump and hundreds of millions of other men like him.
The open secret about the political and social reality of women's lives is that females long ago understood Trump's misogyny. It is no mystery to women how most men think of us, how they describe our bodies free from or behind closed doors, how they discursively imagine their colonisation of our bodies, and how they insert themselves into our lives. That Trump's video reveals how these men talk with each other as they pat each other on the back during their tag-team objectification of women, is not surprising to females. Women have been choosing alternative routes to walk home and fake excuses for leaving a first date early for decades, all in the exercise of self-protection while paradoxically not wanting to rock the boat of their social and political safety. We are very perceptive about dangers to our bodies because perception is the only tool society has marginally allowed us if and when we get a break from cooking and cleaning snotty noses. How males talk to each other about women is as much a part of the problem as how men speak to and interact with women. It's not that Trump is somehow exceptional in male-female relations. He is very much the rule.
We have asked the questions. The real dilemma now is: are we ready for the answers?
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