By now, President Trump’s judgment, or lack thereof, when it comes to his Twitter (and a majority of his public appearances) should come as no surprise to anyone. A myriad of racist, sexist, authoritarian and press-condemning tweets seem to have become the best way way to tell it’s a new week in 2017’s America. But this new week, he has lowered the bar one step further. On Sunday morning, Trump retweeted a fake GIF-montage, created by a supporter, of himself swinging a golf club with the golf ball eventually, violently, hitting Hillary Clinton in the back and making her trip and fall.
And even though the montage itself was fake, the message behind it, and Trump’s encouragement of it by retweeting it to his 38 million Twitter followers, was not. It was a stab in the back (almost literally) not only to a former Secretary of State, a former Presidential Candidate and a former First Lady of the same country he now is the leader of, but to women in general and the violence the female gender faces daily. It was not done by an anonymous Twitter troll, but by the man who currently holds the highest seat of power in this country. It, yet again, showed us that we now have a President who will not only ignore dealing with women’s issues, or remove laws meant to protect women’s rights, but who will encourage violence and abuse of women.
Trump’s retweet has been off-handed by many as a “joke,” and that indeed seems to have been his intention, which doesn’t make it better. Every nine seconds, a woman will be beaten or assaulted in the United States. Every day, three women are killed, on average, by their current or former boyfriends, husbands, or lovers. Every year, more than four million women will be the victims of physical violence by a partner. I wish I could say that these statistics were meant as a “joke” as well. But, Donald Trump, they are not.
A GIF is a gif, a tweet is a tweet, but when associated with the President of the United States of America, these seemingly trivial things become loaded with oh-so-much power. They get 38 million eyeballs (at least) and might influence young girls and boys who will see the leader of the country they are growing up in promoting a fake animation of himself striking Hillary Clinton (arguably the most powerful woman in America) with a golf ball so violently that she falls over. It will show these children, and their parents, that this kind of violence is not only encouraged by the President, but that we should all laugh about it, too.
Top photo: YouTube capture.
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