I was dumfounded by the reality show that was purported to be a presidential debate on Sunday evening, October 9, 2016. Before the debate when Donald Trump trotted out for the world, women from the Clintons’ past, he did not do this out of empathy and moral outrage on their behalf. The majority of women took note that this was his way of retaliating against, humiliating and intimidating our future First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Then I was shocked when the CNN punditry attempted to declare the candidates’ debate performance as a draw. Excuse me, this is not what most women and the men who love them observed. Sure enough, the first scientific survey of the 66 million debate viewers, rated Hillary Clinton, as the decisive winner. The visuals were incredible as Donald Trump loomed behind her in close proximity like a caged lion as he fumed and sniffed loudly on numerous occasions.
Again, his demeanor did not fool most women as to what his intent to bully Hillary Clinton was. At one point Donald Trump vocally threatened to order a special prosecutor to investigate her and then to imprison her. His theatrics may have thrilled his base, but it turned off the majority of those watching this show. He and his republican sycophants will figure this out on election day, 11/8/16.
A 10/10/16 NY Times article, “Special Tax on Women: Trump Tape Is a Reminder of the Cost of Harassment,” by Amanda Taub explains why women would react so negatively to Donald Trump’s behavior during the recent presidential debate. Here are some excerpts:
“I really do think of it as a tax on opportunity,” said Nancy Leong, a law professor at the University of Denver who researches civil rights and identity issues. “On workplace opportunity, on opportunity at school.”A disturbingly large percentage of women in the United States have been sexually assaulted. According to a 2011Justice Department Study, nearly one in four American women reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. One in five reported being victims of rape or attempted rape.”
“Following the release of the tape this week, the writer Kelly Oxford put out a call on Twitter for women to describe the first time a man assaulted them. “I’ll go first,” Ms. Oxford offered, and described being assaulted at age 12, on a city bus.She received a 24-hour stream of near-constant responses, describing countless such stories.Dangers that common are practically impossible to ignore, and many women have had no option but to learn how to protect themselves in such an environment. As my Times colleague Amanda Hess put it. “When Trump is alone with the guys he brags about assaulting women. When women are alone together we warn each other about men like him.”
”From an early age, many American women absorb the message, subtle but unmistakable, that they cannot assume others will prevent or stop men from groping, harassing or even assaulting them, so it is their job to anticipate and avoid such acts.Schools, parents and society at large tell women to take “personal responsibility” for their safety, even if that means limiting their own freedom.”
“On college campuses, women are often told it is up to them to prevent their own sexual assault: Don’t get drunk; don’t go to parties alone. This sends the message that women cannot expect to have the same freedom as men, and any lapse could bring disaster.For women, such are the risks of participating in public life, to be balanced against its benefits: professional opportunities, social connections or simply fun.”
“Social scientists like Professor Leong call this sort of burden “identity work.” It is the effort and cost of fitting into an environment in which you are a natural outsider. For women, she said, this identity work often requires navigating the minefields of sexual objectification, harassment and danger.Whereas men can freely seize an opportunity, women must pause and weigh the costs. Here are some examples of the questions women may ask themselves:”
■ “Is it worth accepting a professor’s offer for one-on-one research mentorship on the assumption that his interest in me is strictly academic?”
■ “At a business dinner, when drinking gets heavy and the clients start to seem awfully friendly, is it worth staying in the hope that the sale will close and things won’t turn uncomfortable, or worse?”
■ “At a conference, when networking happens late, at a bar, and the conversation starts to turn, is it worth staying to make valuable professional connections?”
■ “When raising money for a start-up, and a well-known angel investor offers a meeting at his office late in the evening, is it the chance of a lifetime?”For women, the answer to all of these is the same: Probably. But sometimes not./Men rarely have to make that calculation.”
” In individual instances, these small adjustments and decisions may seem minor. But they add up.”
“I absolutely think that it’s harmful,” Professor Leong said. “Because when you are worried that someone is looking at you in this way, or judging you in this particular way, it’s a distraction from whatever it is that you’re trying to do — whether it’s get a job, or do your job, or get good grades in school, or get into school.”
“It’s impossible to measure the precise effects of paths not taken. But women have big equality gaps to close already.”
“American women are less likely than men to become equity partners at law firms, chief executives or tenured professors. They make less money than men. They have less wealth. And they have narrower paths to success: A Bloomberg study found that only 7 percent of entrepreneurs who received venture capital funding were women, and that female founders received an average of 33 percent less funding than their male equivalents.”
“If you watch the leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” video closely, you can see the tax in action. Mr. Trump and Billy Bush, the host of the segment, approach Arianne Zucker, an actress, and request hugs. After she stiffly complies, Mr. Bush demands, over her obvious discomfort, that she choose which man she would prefer.”
“It’s impossible to know precisely what Ms. Zucker was thinking, but she looks far from pleased by the line of questioning.”
“However, despite her unease, she complies. Refusing the hugs or ignoring the question would have risked angering two powerful men, which could have had consequences for her job.”
“She has to make a calculation about which of these things is going to be more damaging for her,” Professor Leong said.”
“These taxes are the broader cost of the kind of behavior Mr. Trump boasted about in the leaked footage. Sometimes that cost is the pain and humiliation felt by the women who men directly grope, kiss and harass. But it’s also the aggregate losses of all the women who stayed home, who stepped back, who didn’t take an opportunity because that would have meant risking pain or humiliation that, at the time, just didn’t seem quite worth it.”
“It’s easier to just give each of them a little hug,” Professor Leong said of the dilemma faced by not just Ms. Zucker but countless others on a regular basis. “Either way, she’s going to pay a tax.”
On the evening of the 2nd debate, 10/9/16, Donald Trump stated for the record that the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video tape where he is describing his thoughts and behaviors in vulgar and lewd terms towards women, did not reflect how he actually acts when interacting with them. This week of October 12, 2016 several women are coming out by telling their stories publicly of how he acted exactly as he detailed in the tapes.