Ask A Feminist is our regular column tackling issues on sexism and womanhood in a real-life, 21st century context. Here Stylist’s Anna Brech explores why a Trump insult is a score for the sisterhood – and why we should all aspire to be the women he hates
Disgusting. Nasty. Overrated.
The insults President Trump deals out when his fragile ego is at risk are pretty illuminating.
Anyone who thought that the new leader of the free world would back off the petty backhanders once he actually occupied office are sadly mistaken.
Mean little verbal arrows are, apparently, his raison d'être.
While other presidents are known for good and bad, but at least suitably weighty, decisions – issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, authorising the use of the atomic bomb, passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act – at this rate, Trump will go down in history as the president who made an art form out of playground taunts (oh, as well as being the least qualified POTUS the White House has ever encountered).
At least, we better hope that’s what he will be known for. Because when a man who has this little self-control over his own vanity – who jeers and sneers at any glimmer of criticism – it’s impossible to guess how he’ll react when it comes to the issues that actually matter.
But as long as we’re along for this Trump-Bites-Back roadshow – which promises to continue for quite some time – we can at least take comfort in the fact that every time Trump insults a woman, it’s a triumph for the sisterhood.
Let’s take the most recent instance of Trump branding Madonna “disgusting” for remarking “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House” during a speech to the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.
Perhaps Madonna’s remarks were a little heated – as she herself said, “I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged”.
But the woman who was once nearly arrested for simulating masturbation on stage is hardly likely to be tempered in her address to thousands of people protesting a man they feel threatens their most basic rights.
And her off-the-cuff comment about the White House pales in significance next to said leader of the White House bragging about sexually assaulting women, or mocking a disabled reporter (facts he conveniently likes to dismiss or deny, in his own self-aggrandizing world of ‘alternative’ facts).
He may not admit it, but Trump hates women. He especially hates loud, brash, outspoken women.
He’d prefer them quiet and pretty in the corner, trying not to be grabbed by him.
So when he labels Madonna “disgusting”, Meryl Streep “overrated” or Hillary Clinton “nasty”, we should all be howling with delight – or at the very least, clocking up a gold star for the feminist cause.
These laughable jibes are a sign that Clinton and co. have got under Trump’s skin; his pride has been wounded (and wow, it’s easy to do).
But more than that, why would any woman want to be in Trump’s good books?
This is a man who, in a roomful of men, reinstated an abortion gag rule that puts millions of women’s lives at risk. Women have lined up to accuse him of sexual assault. Instead of respecting women he, in his own words, likes to “grab them by the pussy”.
So for Trump not to like you, as a woman, for him to hate you enough to insult you – well, it’s a badge of honour.
On the flip side, if Trump grants you his approval, you should probably take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror (and this is where Theresa May should watch her step when it comes to fostering that ‘special’ relationship. Will she put women or trade first? History, as JK Rowling put it, is watching).
To engage Trump – to humour him, persuade him or pander to his point of view – is to credit him with rationale and altruism he just doesn’t have, especially when it comes to the opposite sex.
It’s saying his view of the world is OK, we’re on-board with it or we’re at least resigned to it. And nothing could be further from the truth.
We should all be disgusting, overrated, nasty women. We should revel in Trump’s bully boy tactics.
Bring it on, keep ‘em flowing. Let’s have this fight. But don’t ever, ever tell us you like us.
Images: Rex Features