It's no surprise that Donald Trump is not a feminist – now let's focus on the important issues

It's easy to think that him calling himself a feminist is deeply relevant when you benefit from the privilege that being white, middle class, cisgendered and straight offers you

Emily Cracknell
Sunday 28 January 2018 16:26
Donald Trump when asked by Piers Morgan is he's a feminist: 'That would be going too far'

The ground-shaking news that Donald Trump “wouldn’t call himself a feminist” has hit the headlines after an excerpt from an interview with Piers Morgan was released today.

With the #MeToo campaign, the historic women’s marches, the Larry Nassar case, and the general rise of interest in women’s issues in the news, asking a sitting US President whether he was a feminist, under any other circumstances, would be considered important.

It could perhaps even open up a dialogue on his feelings on equality, possibly even his support. Except Trump's Administration has been rolling back women’s rights, from abortion to the gender pay gap, from the get go and is embroiled in the #MeToo affair himself, given allegations of sexual harassment against him.

While he wouldn’t consider himself a feminist, he must realise that he’s been central to this current movement? He spurred it on. They wear pink p**** hats in his honour. It wasn’t the racist decries of his, the wall that Mexico would pay for, the outright lies, the obsession with Hillary’s emails, his misogyny, his climate change denial, his business practices, his inability to construct a sentence; nope it was the “grabbing them by the p****” that pushed the left over the edge back in 2016.

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When we reached Access Hollywood boiling point during the presidential campaign, I was over the election. I didn’t even think the tape would make waves – nothing else seemed to have stuck, much like the current scandal-cycle that is Trump’s presidency. The “p**** grabbing” revelation didn’t seem all that revelatory, and I couldn’t see that it would make the dent it did.

Didn’t we already know that 17 women had accused him of sexual assault? Hadn’t his ex-wife accused him of marital rape and domestic abuse? Hadn’t he made a crude remark that Megyn Kelly was on her period when she asked him a “difficult” question in the debates? Wasn’t he constantly talking about the sexual attractiveness of his daughter? Yet the “p**** grabbing” was a step too far.

“He’s disrespectful and demeaning to women,” came the rallying cry, when “duh” should have been the response. This was your tipping point? It seems this is just another example of the lack on intersectionality among today's liberal elite.

Why was calling Mexicans rapists and planning to build a wall to “keep them out” fine? What about his takes on Islam, on immigrants? His birther movement? He’d already laid out pretty clearly who and what he was, and after that he still made it into office. Now he’s managed a year in the White House while employing white supremacists and having dubious ties to Russia. Feminism isn’t the elephant in the room.

Recently in my Twitter feeds I’ve seen black women indicate their disgust with the pink tea-cosy that is the “p**** hat”, feeling themselves excluded from the movement that has so blatantly centred around cis white women. It took a while for the importance of this to sink in. Now I see that millions have come out to campaign against a president who "wouldn’t say he’s a feminist", but no combined global strength against a man who declares entire countries to be "shitholes", and won’t condemn white supremacists who killed a protester. It's easy to think that him calling himself a feminist is the most important issue at hand when you benefit from the privilege of being white, middle class, straight, cisgendered and so on.

We already know Trump isn’t a feminist in any sense of the word, but it’s his policies which must be challenged, not his wording. Hopefully in the rest of his interview Morgan focused on the issues at hand – including those affecting the people of colour, LGBTQ people and immigrants that Trump doesn’t seem to consider worthy of protection or dignity, rather than sticking to sensationalist quotes which only tell us more of what we already know.

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