Early last week, an article in a NY Times column compared Trump's erratic behavior to that of a 13-year-old — that at Trump's core, all this time, there has been the heart of a manipulative and catty teenage girl.
Maureen Dowd discusses how we should be grateful for this showcase of girly bitchiness; she claims that it has done an enormous favor for women in politics. “After this down-and-dirty battle of the sexes, we will never look at gender in politics the same way.”
Speaking as a young woman, I am actually not at all thankful for his behavior or this incorrect comparison to teenage girls. Trump is an aggressive predator. It's incredibly sexist to suggest his harmful, derogatory behavior is on par with that of young girls.
Trump demonstrates time and again that he's impulsive; he can't wait his turn to speak during debates and has even threatened to throw Clinton in jail. Although women are often characterized as being catty and vindictive, Trump is the one behaving like a spiteful candidate — breaking, some would argue, the traditional gender norms expected of the candidates.
But he's not acting like like a 13-year girl.
Trump's spiteful and manipulative behavior should not be associated with teenage girls; to do so is deeply sexist. Most pre-teens are kind, sensitive, and much more dynamic than Trump. They don't deserve to be lumped in with that power hungry creep.
The article is intended to be comical — and yes, it is funny. One can imagine Trump sashaying through a high school in high heels with his republican puppets behind him, smashing any potential chick that threatens their power. It's laughable, yes, but it's also hurtful. Teenage girls get enough shit for being uncontrollable and unlovable. They don't need people suggesting they are in the same category as Trump.
Current western culture views girls negatively as they transition from childhood to adulthood. When girls become women, we start to see them as controlled by viscous emotions; erratic and often, detestable. This is due to misogynistic notions that fail to see women as dynamic human beings.
Trump is a psychopath who masks his hate, very successfully, with charm. Most teenage girls are NOT full of rage and hate. While some may be angsty, very few of them have emotions so deeply calloused as Trump's.
The piece also suggests that Trump's low brow tactics are elevating women by showing the world that even men partake in ruthless personal attacks. “Every minute of every day, Trump debunks that old 'science' when he shows that the gossipy, backbiting, scolding, mercurial, overly emotional, shrewish, menopausal one in this race is not the woman.”
Well, maybe so, but all I really took from the article is a poor opinion of women in general.
“They want to toss him questions that will get under his skin, so that next time he doesn’t let his emotions get the better of him and go all PMS.”
Can we please stop perpetuating the idea that women are volatile right before their period? You're not helping Clinton's campaign out here. You may be insulting Trump but you're also insulting women.
This comparison to Trump is hurtful to all the intellectual, kind young girls out there. 13-year girls deserve some love, not hate. Instead of picking at Trump, the article is voicing sexist ideas about women.
In the end, it's hurting Clinton more than it's hurting Trump.
Top photo from Instragram
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Patricia is a writer, activist, and aspiring journalist. She likes writing about politics, sexuality, and feminism. She is a bit of a wanderer and has lived in Morocco, Australia, and India. Recently moved to Brooklyn, she is currently learning to navigate NYC subways.