Yeah, they do feel empowered and not just racists, eitherMisogyny is explicitly, visibly incentivized and rewarded. You can watch it self-perpetuate in front of your eyes.
Lindy West (Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman)
I am a computer programmer for my day job and this weekend, we had an implementation — a rollout of new code, fixes and enhancements for our complex and gargantuan system. Yes, I am smarter than I look. Thank mercy.
Part of the reward for doing all this at gawdawful in the morning on a Saturday is the amazing goodies everybody brings. Food binge! Semi party atmosphere! Great company (I have wonderful coworkers)!
So Friday I went shopping. On about four hours of sleep. After an 11 hour work day (not factoring in the business of getting up and dressed and the commute), I was pooped and so, of course, I forgot half and half (and a few other things). Which meant I had to stop and get something because I am a coffee wimp and a creamer snob and must therefore infuse great gouts of dairy products in my Keurig caramel flavored wimp coffee.
Naturally, the mini-mart/gas station run by locals was closed. I was obliged to go to the truck stop chain. Where they did not have half and half. They had whole milk.Whatever.
I am a chatty sort. It makes for a natural writer because words in any form really are my thing. So I’m at the register, making my purchases, gabbing as I went. I had just finished up and was ending with my parting words when a grouchy male voice from behind me snarled, “Will you shut up and finish, lady? I’m waiting here.”
I turn to peruse the miscreant.
Now, I can’t be sure he’s a Trump supporter. No red hat. No obscene, misogynistic t-shirt blaring out some vile insult to Hillary. But he sure looks like a goodly number of men I’ve seen at Trump rallies. Clearly unwashed, I don’t think he’s homeless, although there are homeless people who hang out there. He doesn’t have that deeply ingrained grime that life on the streets can give a person. His hair is thinning and white, his ravaged skin sports rather more than stubble but without the grace of a beard. His red, bulbous nose suggests age, but also the possibility of a deep affinity for excessive amounts of alcohol.
“Or you could learn some manners,” I retort without fear. We’re in a public place. His arms are full. Even if he’s packing, he’d have to drop it all to even reach for the weapon I can’t tell if he’s carrying or not — this red belt in mixed martial arts would have him nailed before he could pull it. Besides, I’m an old bat and I don’t put up with being talked to this way.
“Lady, I’m cold as shit and want to get out of here. Will you just shut the fuck up?” he growls again.
“Do you talk to your mother like that?” I shoot back, but I put my wallet in my pack, grab my stuff and go. I’m not scared. I’m expected at work.
Since Trump began his savage assault on the American political system, trying to storm the gates of government where he believes he can wreak all the criminal, corrupt, lying, indecent, world-destroying havoc he pleases, the monsters have been creeping out from under their rotting logs. Think zombies crawling out from the earth. Grubs, writhing when the light of day hits them. That sort of thing. The incidences of racism have not only exploded, they are absolutely brazen. Trump has empowered them and they are dancing their insane, hate-grinning tarantellas of violence without the shame that has held them back (at least sort of) for decades. Even monsters will shut it down if enough people roar back at them.
Suddenly they don’t care about the approbation of the rest of us. Donald Trump has not just given permission. He’s encouraged them — directly or by example.
It’s not just racists, though, or xenophobes. It looks like the misogynists are coming out in full force, too. I’m willing to bet that, before the Trump candidacy, this aging, pot-bellied man of significantly ugly physical presence would have just put up with it quietly. He might have been steaming. He might have even fantasized about doing me some sort of harm like punching me in the head to get me to shut up and get out of there. But he wouldn’t have said what he did to me. He would have known that this was not acceptable behavior in public toward a woman he did not know.
But now, with Trump’s storied history of vile insults to women (here ya go), his grinning admission that he treats women like shit, his bragging about his glory days — his “personal Vietnam” — of fucking as many women as humanly possible (ew! Who could even…) (here he is, saying it), the way he treats his wives like broodmares valued for their looks, his intensely creepy relationship with his older daughter — and there’s more all the time — he has given permission to every woman hater on Team Trump to do the same.
Trump is the living embodiment of a woman’s nightmare. He doesn’t just think we aren’t equal. He actively thinks we’re inferior. He thinks we’re intrinsically powerless but also resents any woman who either wants or has power (aside from Ivanka) and will do or say whatever he has to do to keep them in their “proper” place. He doesn’t even insult us as equals — I guarantee any insult he would turn on a man would have little or nothing to do with that man’s gender. He insults us in gender specific ways because it’s a further expression of his intrinsic contempt. On top of this, he has been accused of rape — he has a civil trial coming up for raping a 13 year old girl, threatening her life and her family’s lives (Huffington Post analysis of the case). And with all of that, with all of his criminal corruption which has been documented and proven over and over again, he struts around free, spewing his infectious venom, all without apparent consequence — and the haters are listening.
I think that even if Trump does not win, we will be seeing more of this just as we have been seeing more shameless racism, ableism (watch here) and xenophobia. Even if he doesn’t win, the despicables have come creeping out from their noisome refuges where they had been stewing quietly in their noxious juices all this time.
Good question how we’re going to get them stuffed back in…