President Donald Trump may not be the first person that leaps to mind when it comes to the topic of feminism, but giving he’s supposed to be running America, the reality-star-turned-politician spoke at a women’s empowerment event this week.
Timed to coincide with the end of Women’s History Month, the event was all about celebrating some of the world’s most inspiring women – so, of course, Trump began by talking about wife Melania’s approval numbers.
The president then moved on to discussing the achievements of iconic feminists in America. And, to give credit where it’s due, he began expertly with a tribute to Abigail Adams, the wife of America’s second president, John Adams.
“Since the very beginning, women have driven, and I mean, each generation of Americans, towards a more free and more prosperous future,” said Trump. “These patriots are women like the legendary Abigail Adams, right? Who, during the founding, urged her husband to remember the rights of women. She was very much a pioneer in that way.”
Turning his attention to Harriet Tubman, he acknowledged her bravery and resoluteness of spirit – and her incredible contribution to the fight against slavery.
“We’ve been blessed with courageous heroes like Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery. And went on to deliver hundreds of others to freedom, first in the underground railroad and then as a spy for the union army,” he said of the abolitionist, humanitarian, and armed Civil War scout and spy.
“She was very, very courageous, believe me.”
A teeny bit patronising, yes, but fine. In fact, it seemed as if the speech was going to go down a storm until Trump got to Susan B. Anthony – aka the American social reformer and women's rights activist who played an absolutely pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement.
“Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony? I’m shocked that you’ve heard of her,” the president said jokingly, to an audience comprised almost entirely of women.
Pausing for a reaction (a few awkward giggles were heard), Trump then decided to educate the crowd as to who Anthony was, doing his best to mansplain her achievements to feminists everywhere.
“[Anthony] dreamed of a much more fair and equal future and an America where women themselves as she said helped to make laws and elect the lawmakers, and that’s what’s happening more and more,” he said.
“Tough competition out there, I want to tell you.”
Eloquence has never been his strong point, we suppose.
Unsurprisingly, people all over the world were extremely unimpressed – and quickly took to Twitter to have their say on the matter.
One, sharing a recent photo of Anthony’s grave covered in ‘I voted’ stickers, tweeted: “Today Trump asked a group of women, ‘Have you ever heard of Susan B. Anthony?’ This is her grave after the 2016 election.
“Yeah, we’ve heard of her.”
Another said: “Donald Trump asked some women if they’d heard of Susan B. Anthony. If one had said, ‘Yes, she’s standing right there’, Trump would have looked.”
And the messages kept rolling in…
Clearly, Trump learned about Susan B. Anthony this morning. No word yet on whether he thinks she's alive or dead.— Taylor Wright (@tw429) March 29, 2017
I hear that both Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass are survivors of the Bowling Green Massacre…— William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 30, 2017
While the president has yet to respond, we have a sneaky suspicion that he’s going to dub it “fake news” from “nasty women”.
Images: Rex Features / Twitter