The Unsurprising Sexism of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz
I am right wing, but I have come to realize the last 2 or 3 years that yes, some right wingers harbor some sexist views towards women.
I used to regard left wing complaints about this to be fabricated or greatly exaggerated.
I do think in some ways, on some topics, liberals do unfairly peg right wingers with sexism, but in some other ways, depending on the particular situation or topic, I think there is merit to their charge.
There are small fragments of right wingers – like Quivering type families, or a Christian family the Duggars who believe in “Gothardism” – who do hold to some pretty outlandish, backwards views about women, but I do think that a lot of liberals go too far by ascribing labels such as “Christian Taliban” to all or most conservative Christians (yes, in years past, I’ve seen left wing Hollywood actors or commentators make such comments about all Christians, not just the small percentage).
Here is an interesting article about the sexism of Cruz and Trump – how they each denigrate the other’s wife.
I see that the treatment of women by both Cruz and Trump somewhat mirrors that of Christian gender complementarians – they treat women like sex objects, or as children, or as ‘lesser than’ men.
As physically unattractive as Trump is, I can guarantee you his wife, who, according to papers was once a supermodel, didn’t marry him for love. Maybe wealthy guys don’t care if they are loved for their wallets and not who they are.
It’s interesting and sad how an entire group of people – Republicans or conservative Christians – often present themselves as being “pro family,” but then their actions betray how sexist they are. Being disrespectful of women, who comprise some members of nuclear families, is not being pro- family values at all.
Christian gender complementarians play at the same game; they declare that women are of equal worth to men, but their actions betray this statement.
Christians often like to teach that marriage is necessary to make a person more godly and mature – here we have two married persons – Trump and Cruz – behaving quite immaturely and rudely on Twitter.
(Link): The Weaponization of Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump by Emma Green
- The use of wives as proxies in the struggle between the two leading Republican contenders [Trump and Cruz] shows how much American conservatism has changed.
- ….For the lasts several days, he and Ted Cruz have been in a Twitter-based Battle of the Wives, pitting Melania and Heidi against one another in contests of appearance and virtue.
- ….Ted Cruz was also always that guy: the one who would look away as his allies circulated a naked picture of the wife of his enemy, and then suggest that “real men don’t attack women.”
- That guy who who stands silently by as his allies suggest that a man’s fitness for office can be measured in terms of the chastity of his wife—that her comparative purity, and his willingness to defend it, are tests of his manly authority. That guy who would suggest the only female Democratic presidential candidate in this race (Link): needs a spanking.
- Both men’s supporters are using their wives as symbolic weapons, but they’re fighting toward different ends. Cruz’s allies are making a claim about propriety: That modesty and sexual demureness are virtues, especially in a woman who will represent the United States.
- There’s a logic to this: Mormons, who were targeted in the ad push, believe in modesty and tend to be culturally conservative.
- Trump is making a claim about status and power: that the beauty of his wife proves his superiority over Ted Cruz, because a man’s social standing is partly a function of his ability to compete, and win, in sexual contests.
- There is also a logic to this: Trump is appealing to a segment of Americans who are moved by calls to assert America’s superiority in the world and (Link): who like Trump’s real-talk, even if it makes them nervous sometimes.
- It’s worth noting that both of these men [Trump and Cruz] have wives who are accomplished in their fields: Melania has worked successfully as a model, and Heidi as a banker. But in this back-and-forth, their own independent histories are irrelevant—they have been reduced, by both sides and in different ways, to their sexual appeal.
- ….But there’s another group, who admittedly make strange bedfellows with progressive feminists, who might be turned off by the exchange of jabs about Melania and Heidi—on a taste level, if not on a level of sexual politics: cultural conservatives, the kind of religious voters who attend church regularly, don’t want Trump to be president, and don’t want to see a picture of a naked woman in their Facebook feeds.