“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card,” Donald Trump told a news conference on April 26. “And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”
It was a surprising statement heard across the nation. In no time #WomanCard was trending on Twitter. Women — and men — wanted to know what they could buy with a woman card. Twenty-one percent less pay than males? A one in five chance of being raped during their lifetime? How about pregnancy discrimination or daily catcalls from strangers? Does it accrue points we can use to pay a tampon tax or buy our more expensive (but totally identical) razors?
It’s obvious many women can’t think of any time when their gender gave them an advantage. Maybe if they were on the Titanic — women and children first? Unless you’re part of the all-female crew on the first “manned” mission to Mars, you’re still wondering where this woman card is accepted.
— BBC Trending (@BBCtrending) April 28, 2016
Later, Trump gave an interview and doubled down on his sentiment. “Without the woman’s card Hillary would not even be a viable person to run for city council positions,” he told NBC’s Today in a telephone interview.
“Do you understand why people find that to be kind of a demeaning comment?” Savannah Guthrie asked.
“I find it to be a true comment,” Trump said. “I think the only thing she has got going is she’s a woman. She has done a terrible job in so many different ways.”
An April Gallup poll conducted before this speech found 70 percent of female voters already have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. But the backlash is much more than political because it’s a comment that ignores every single women’s issue by suggesting that life is somehow easier for the homogametic sex.
Rachel Maddow summed it up best…
“… to say about the woman that you’re running against that the only reason she’s in the race is because she’s a woman, that her achievement is basically the result of some sort of affirmative action, is some favor being paid to her as a woman and that as a human being she is patently unqualified when she is the former two-term senator from New York and the former secretary of state…”
Imagine a little girl, just six years old. Born in 2010, she’s a child of a new generation — the post-Millennial generation. Now explain to her how she can do everything in her power to gain expertise in a particular field, but that no one will believe she really earned her position. Why? Because she’s female.
Of course, she’ll find out soon enough that opportunity doesn’t grow on a tree and there is a fair share of adversity waiting out there. As a victim of abuse, I only hope she doesn’t learn it through trauma.
Women do want things. We have a lot of ground to cover. But we’re not asking for the moon. We’re asking for equality.
“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders,” wrote Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. But we aren’t there yet. While gender bias is an issue, it’s something we have to discuss. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, and pretending women have it made is just delusional.
Something I learned from other survivors in trauma group therapy applies here — never apologize for being a woman.