donald trump: feminist
(In light of recent events, I take this entire article back. Donald Trump is no feminist. Donald Trump is an asshole. Here it is for posterity.)
Trump’s Struggle with Feminism vs Fascism
I don’t like Donald Drumpf. I don’t want him for my president. I think he has a fascist, ego-driven side that would dictate the majority of his actions in the Oval Office.
I also think he has a feminist side that struggles against his fascist side. And even though it may not always win, it’s still refreshing when it pops its cute little head out.
On the one hand, he objectifies some women and throws gender-specific insults at women who oppose him. On the other hand, he supports closing the gender pay gap, both with his actions and his words, and he’s the first Republican presidential candidate ever to offer any kind of support for Planned Parenthood and the “millions of women (it has) helped greatly.”
One of the strongest feminist statements Donald Trump has made, however, is often interpreted as a racist generalization.
Yes, I’m talking about when he denounced rape culture in Mexico.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Mexico with all my heart. But I hate rape. And I think it’s about time we faced the fact that there is an ugly and very deeply-entrenched culture of rape and sexual harassment marring this very beautiful country.
And honestly, if anyone else with a little more finesse than Donald Trump had stood up and spoken against the widespread anti-woman sentiments poisoning so much of Latino culture, the rest of the world might have listened.
Here are some examples that will make your skin crawl:
According to a 2011 United Nations study, Mexico was awarded the planet’s gold medal for sexual violence against women. The UN study estimated that almost one out of every two women in Mexico have been victims of some kind of physical sexual aggression ranging from forced sexual contact to all out rape.
Once again, that is: according to the UN, Mexico is #1 in the world concerning sexual violence against women.
Suck it, Iraq.
Mexico’s Ministry of Health estimates that 120,000 rapes are committed per year in Mexico, one every four minutes. Only about 15% of these are ever officially reported, and of those that are reported, only a shocking 5% ever make it to trial.
This means that if you decide to rape a woman in Mexico (which apparently is happening to about half the women here), about nine times out of 10, your life will continue being pretty cool.
If these statistics have left you feeling depressed and angry, here is a fun and alliterative list of some words that should never be put together, to lighten your mood again:
- Harassment Heaven
- Sexual Assault Shangri-La
- Coercion Cloud Nine
- Rape Disneyland
No Never Means No
Sociologist and NYU professor Eric Klinenberg has studied extensively what he terms the Latino “culture of male aggression,” stating that in Hispanic cultures there’s an idea that “no doesn’t mean no. If she’s really not interested, she’ll just ignore you.”
You can try this one out for yourself: repeat the above “no”-negation statement to any of your Mexican friends and, instead of shock and horror about this dangerous anti-woman sentiment, you will be greeted with laughter and hearty agreement. Even the most feminist women I know here have resigned themselves to this as a simple fact of life, and many have even embraced it.
Unfortunately, all of this leads to…
A Culture of Coercion
…in which it is normal and everyday for men to be constantly begging, convincing, and intimidating women into having sex with them. This is so commonplace here that when she tells you no and you say okay and walk away, she will ask you what happened, what’s wrong, don’t you like her.
It’s almost impossible to have any kind of a sex life in Mexico without some form of, “C’mon, baby,” a sprinkling of, “I know you want it,” and a dash of, “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
Minor Gold Mine
This one is as easy as it is heartbreaking, and I could go statistical (boring) or anecdotal (incomplete), because both are aplenty.
The fact is that right now there is a 50-foot tall campaign in front of every IMSS building (Mexican Social Security Institute) that screams in giant letters, “1 out of 2 women who begin their sex life before the age of 15 will get pregnant.”
The fact is that about 99% of all the men I know here will sit around telling jolly stories of that time they banged (raped) a 14-year old.
The fact is that the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey Institution (ENSANUT) is alarmed that the percentage of girls who begin having sex between the ages of 12 and 17 years old has risen from 15% in 2006 to 23% in 2012 and is still rising.
The fact is that you if you tell these adult males who are slapping each other’s backs and one-upping each other’s child rape stories that of course you wouldn’t sleep with a 14-year old, not only will you be laughed out of the room, but no one will even believe you because it sounds so unlikely to them.
The sobering fact is that Latin America has the second highest underage pregnancy rate. IN. THE. WORLD.
In case it isn’t clear why I put this section in here (and it wasn’t clear when I ran this topic by a few of my Mexican readers): having sex with a minor, even consensual sex, is rape.
Rape a Lesbian
The other night I happened to glance at my Twitter trending feed and I noticed that the hashtag #ViolaYCuraAUnaLesbiana – Rape A Lesbian To Cure Her – was trending specifically in Mexico. I don’t know where it started or what exactly it was referring to (apart from the self-explanatory obvious), but it continued to trend for about four hours before tapering off.
The next day I referred to this odd and revolting hashtag in the context of, “I bet Donald Trump would be real proud.” I didn’t hear back any type of remorse or surprise or disgust or condemnation from the 20,000+ men who had been laughing on Twitter the night before about raping lesbians. I did, however, hear back that I was a “fucking racist.”
So I guess I’m sort of beginning to understand what Donald Trump was referring to.
Mexico’s Struggle with Racism vs Feminism
I love Mexicans, and I know not all Mexicans or all Mexican demographics are rapists (just mostly the adult male demographic, I’m assuming). But when you have numbers that scream this loud for attention, I feel like they’re just begging for someone to do something.
And it would suck if I had to choose between being a racist and being a feminist.