This Week In Women: Harassment and Plagiarism Abound at the RNC
This week, the misogyny gods (are those a thing? I hope not) graced us with the Republican National Convention, a quaint little gathering in Cleveland where Donald J. Trump was, unfortunately, declared the Republican nominee for President. As we’re sure you know by now, where Trump goes, misogyny abounds! Gee, I wonder why that is? Welcome to this week in women: RNC edition.
The Trump Campaign Has A Woman Problem
The Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio began this Monday, and my, what a convention it was. Some highlights: sore loser Ted Cruz getting booed; loyal wife Melania Trump‘s blatantly plagiarized speech; lesser-known Trump progeny Tiffany just being herself; and the haters and losers of the Never Trump movement’s final, desperate attempt to save us all from what I can only imagine is our impending doom.
On the first day of the RNC, an organization called Women Vote Trump held a (lame) rally which, according to Jezebel’s generous estimate, was attended by approximately 30 people—including reporters. Ladies and gentlemen, the Trump Train has left the station, but it’s remarkably devoid of women. Why aren’t ladies flocking to support Donald J. Trump? Don’t they know what’s best for them?
Maybe it has something to do with Indiana governor Mike Pence, Trump’s eleventh-hour choice for VP, who once opposed Mulan on the grounds that it made little girls foolishly think they could grow up to serve in the military. CNN recently unearthed another Pence gem: a 1997 letter in which Pence argued that working mothers stunt their kids’ emotional growth.
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) July 22, 2016
These are examples of a much more insidious issue with the GOP duo: Trump regularly demeans women (and his campaign pays them far less than their male counterparts), but Pence, a seasoned politician, has spent nearly a decade endorsing policies that limit women’s reproductive and civil rights. Together, they’re sure to be an unstoppable misogynist force.
Thursday night, as Convention festivities came to a close, Trump’s favorite daughter Ivanka gave a speech in which she referred to her father as “color blind and gender-neutral.”
Also, this happened.
And there it is pic.twitter.com/TKzc5qIL6x
— Ziwe (@ziwe) July 21, 2016
Trump: When Misogyny Becomes Dangerous
Let’s get real, though: Donald Trump’s sexism is so outlandish, it almost seems like a joke—after all, joking about Trump is a good coping mechanism, a way of reminding ourselves we can’t let this cartoon supervillain become president—but the real-life consequences of his rhetoric are dire.
In 1997, a makeup artist named Jill Harth filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for inappropriate sexual harassment and attempted rape. This May, Trump finally publicly responded to the suit: he called Harth’s claims “meritless,” and Ivanka doubled down, claiming that her father was “not a groper,” The Guardian reports. Harth chose this week—the week of Trump’s coronation—to speak to the press about her accusations.
Earth and her partner, George Houraney, were in talks to do business with Trump in the early ‘90s. In 1993, the couple visited Trump’s famous Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where Harth alleges Trump sexually harassed her in his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom.
“He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get my dress up again,” Harth told The Guardian. “I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”
This isn’t the first time Trump was accused of rape—a lawsuit filed this June alleges that the Republican candidate repeatedly raped a 13-year-old girl more than 20 years ago.
Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, has repeatedly denied these claims. “It is disheartening that one has to dignify a response to the below absurd query,” he said in an email to The Guardian. “Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth as these 24-year-old allegations lack any merit or veracity.”
Stay tuned to Milk for more This Week in Women, and check out our previous installments here.