ESPN’s Jemele Hill posts her truth: Donald Trump is a white supremacist. What do we get from the lectern in the White House? This is a “fire-able offense.” Hillary Clinton goes on her book tour. What do we get? She’s blaming every one but herself — when in fact she admits some 35 mistakes for which she took responsibility. What does the occupant of the White House do? He re-tweets a bit of anti-Semitic commentary with a GIF of Hillary Clinton being hit with a golf ball. It would be tempting to oversimplify this, but there is a pattern: Women being hit, women being fired, or women being otherwise assaulted or attacked is acceptable. There’s a word for this — misogynist.
These would be part of the background noise associated with the current administration, except that the misogyny is part of the administration’s policy, witness the Department of Education’s reversal of Title IX protections for those who report campus assaults.
“Perhaps it should come as no surprise that this latest undermining of survivors’ rights is taking place under the administration of a president who has bragged about sexually assaulting women. An administration in which the acting assistant secretary of education for civil rights, Candice Jackson, suggested, in July (she later apologized), that for “90 percent” of campus sexual assault allegations the complainants regretted having sex, but weren’t actually sexually assaulted.” [WaPo]
So, are we surprised that the Department of Education is dialing back the protections for assault survivors on college campuses? If we are we shouldn’t be. The signals have been there all along.
We couldn’t really miss the images of the President barging ahead out of a vehicle, leaving his wife to exit on her own, or the images of him climbing the steps to Air Force One again leaving his wife to mount the stairs without assistance. Or, images of him holding the umbrella over his own head, leaving his wife to stride in his wake perhaps hoping to get some protection from the rain. If he will treat his wife with this casual disregard, what can we expect of his attitude toward women he doesn’t know? Why would we be surprised if he tweets a GIF showing a woman being hit by a golf ball?
So, what do Jemele Hill and Hillary Clinton have in common? One’s black, the other is white. One is an experienced politician, the other is a sportscaster and analyst. One was born in 1975, the other married Bill Clinton in 1975. One attended Michigan State University, the other attended Wellesley. What makes them targets from the White House lectern? They are women.