Donald Trump’s Machismo and Sexism

The 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump was the epitome of machismo toughness approached as a battle with insults, talking about how he would bomb and “beat the shit out of ISIS,” would use more extreme torture than water boarding, make Mexico pay for a border wall and China adjust its currency and be a winner. About ISIS, he said of himself, “I think we’re weak. No body would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. I will find the right guy to make the military really work. Nobody will push us around.” He added in a Tweet, “I alone can solve this problem.” We’ve become weak, he said, “I love the old days — you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” When some white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally, Trump said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” At another rally he said, “I’d like to punch him in the face” and at another, if his supporters saw anybody with a tomato, “Knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell [out of them]. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees.” “We’ve gotta fight back,” he said about unruly protesters, and threatened to send his supporters to disrupt Bernie Sander’s speeches, charging that Sanders was the instigator of the protests at Trump events. He told Idaho potato growers, “As President, I will protect your market.” As the helpful father he told Michigan workers before their primary in February, “If you get laid off, I still want your vote. I’ll get you a new job; don’t worry about it.” He tells supporters he loves them and there are good people and bad people, and he’s the greatest at everything he mentions—the presidency, the military, building walls, making money.

Patriarchal dad called Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly a lightweight bimbo (she is trained as a lawyer) and implied her tough questions were due to menstruation. He insulted other women like Carly Fiorina and Rosie O’Donnell for their appearance, saying he is against “political correctness.” He allowed black women to be pushed and roughed up during his rallies. He told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice that it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees, implying a sexual act. He judges women by their appearance, as when he told Esquire Magazine, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” [i]He called Rose O’Donnell a fat pig and condemned presidential candidate Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?” About sexual assaults in the military he tweeted, “What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?” He even entered into a debate about the size of his hands and by implication genitals in a debate with Senator Marco Rubio. He doesn’t feel the need to research policies just make pronouncements about how great he is, commenting on climate change that weather changes and goes up and down and he thinks that “it’s very low on the list” of world problems.[ii] His approach to voters is compared to techniques used by fascists like Mussolini, who he quoted in a tweet.

[i] Alan Rappeport, “Donald Trump’s Trail of Comments About Women,” New York Times, March 25, 2016.

[ii] Philip Lewis, “Donald Trump on Climate Change,” Huffpost, September 22, 2015.

Alan Rappeport, “Donald Trump’s Trail of Comments About Women,” New York Times, March 25, 2016.

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