By Leyan Yucel
“Too many people are treating this as another day’s headline.”
That was Michelle Obama’s response to Donald Trump’s latest comments about women. But controversial comments from The Republican nominee for President of the United States are nothing new.
In 2005, whilst he was travelling to film for a popular soap opera (Days of Our Lives), he made reference to women, boasting,
“When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want…grab them by the p****.”
Following the discovery of this video Trump tried to justify his behaviour by describing it as ‘locker room talk.’ Is it though?
The fact is Donald Trump has an extensive history of making controversial and degrading comments about women. This is the man who has reached the final stage of the presidential election and now overtaken Hillary Clinton to take a single percentage point lead in a poll by ABC. Here are some of the comments that outraged so many people around the world and inspired the First Lady’s passionate speech in New Hampshire:
This was a comment made by Trump to an opposing female lawyer when she asked for a medical break to pump breast milk for her baby during a court case. Trump was testifying in regard to a failed Florida real estate project in 2011 when the lawyer took out her breast pump to prove the urgency of the situation. Since when is feeding your child disgusting?
“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
Most people will read this and feel very, very uncomfortable. Trump said this on the TV chat show The View in March 2006. Ivanka Trump has being working alongside her father during the election but has appeared unfazed by his comments about women.
“The only card [Hillary Clinton] has is the woman’s card. She’s got nothing else to offer and frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.”
“The woman’s card”. Michelle Obama highlighted in her speech that women have been fighting for a sense of equality for hundreds of years. Yet still, here in 2016, someone running for presidency in one of the most powerful countries in the world is finding excuses for why a woman has reached this stage in the election.
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
Given his repertoire of statements about women, this comment is almost comical. It was made by Trump during the final presidential debate with Clinton with regard to the sexual assault allegations against him. Many women would disagree with Trump’s view on what ‘respect’ means.
Some of Trump’s messages encourage a backward society with more tension between the sexes and this is what young people in America would grow up hearing from their president. It isn’t just the attitudes of young women that are at risk, it’s men and boys too. Do parents around the world really want their children thinking this is a respectful way to treat women? In the words of Michelle Obama,
“This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human dignity. It’s about right and wrong.”