Trump has been a loud voice against women from the perch of his presidency. Then he used a male-dominated cabinet meeting to speak about International Women's Day.
Surrounded by his almost all-white, all-male cabinet, Trump read a statement recognizing International Women’s Day. His remarks did not acknowledge that his administration has systematically excluded women or that he is an admitted sexual predator.
Trump said, “We recognize that today is International Women’s Day, and we’re proud in all of the measures we’ve taken economically to empower women, especially in the workplace.”
Trump has less women in his cabinet than any first-term president has had in 17 years. There are four female cabinet secretaries under Trump, while President Barack Obama had 7 in his first cabinet.
Two of the women in Trump’s cabinet are not white, while three of the women who served with Obama were non-white.
Paul Light, a professor at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, told the New York Times, “Donald Trump is rolling back the clock on diversity in the cabinet.”
He is of course also an admitted sexual predator. He was recorded bragging that the way to treat women is to “grab ’em by the pussy” because “you can do anything” when “you’re a star.”
Many other women have accused Trump of sexually assaulting them, and instead of admitting to any of his behavior, he has denied the reports.
As a result, he has inspired a groundswell of grassroots activism against his presidency and the Republican Party. Women are running for office from coast to coast in unprecedented numbers, even in states like Texas where the Republicans have had major advantages.
Trump’s lip service to International Women’s Day was insulting, and the setting where he chose to make the announcement immediately highlighted his hostility. But his behavior is not without consequence as his embrace of bigotry and misogyny is mobilizing a new generation of advocates.
They will rise up against Trump-style attacks on women, and in the long run they will win.