Better for the news networks to just report the facts and the stories rather than repeatedly give us their opinions and tell us how we should think. In my opinion this is the biggest cause of the divide we see in our nation now...
|Ken & Barbie Dolls by Mattel Toy Company|
Sorry for taking so long to get to this particular post--holidays and other distractions as I've indicated in previous posts. Also, blogging has taken a neglected seat far in the back of the bus of late as far as my life goes. I offer no apologies for that because it's just the fact of my life these days.
Considering that time span of neglect in regard to my President Trump Acclimation Series, if you missed my first part of today's post--Let's Talk About Sexism--you might want to return to it in order to understand the parameters of my current post. That post rankled at least a few readers, but anything I write on this topic is sure to bother those same readers and I'll probably continue to lose more followers as my series progresses. And as I've stated earlier, the worst and perhaps most upsetting to some points are yet to come in later installments of my series. So hang on if you're bold and open-minded enough.
To summarize said previous post in this series. my primary argument regarding the claims of sexism. objectification, or misogyny (oh, how I abhor the use of this ridiculous word--often by people who don't understand its exact meaning in my estimation)--is that Donald Trump, like a good many of us, is merely a product of his culture.
We don't have to venture much further than our television sets, magazines we read, or any other medium of popular culture to know that sex drives our society. Our culture heavily promotes objectification and we are in many ways still stuck in sexist thinking about the world around us. I'm not going to make any judgement about how much of this is good or bad, but I will merely point out that this is the way things are just in case there are any of you who might think otherwise.
Our children grow up in a Barbie doll culture where a bad boy image of many pop stars and celebrities is not only accepted, but often encouraged. Like some of you, I am of the same generation of Donald Trump having grown up in a culture of beauty pageants dictating standards of attractiveness for women and advertising reminding us of how we all should look. If there are any women who feel angered by that then I'd better never catch you reading one of those steamy romances with hot half-naked men on the cover. Sex sells--no doubt about it. Most of us aspire to look as attractive as we can. Superficial to some perhaps, but it is a standard by which many of us cast judgement.
In any case, since this post will be plenty long as it is, let me bring up some of the major accusations pointed at Trump regarding sexism and other similar charges
The leaked NBC tape--Since this was one of the incidents that snowballed into the biggest threat to Trump's candidacy, I'll start with this story since it is also one of the stupidest with the most incredulous outcome. The timing of the release of this older tape by NBC was strategically schemed to hurt Trump by a network that was in collusion with the corrupt Clinton campaign. Sure, it was stupid and sophomoric behavior on Trump's behalf, but it was also egged on by the host Billy Bush. Having been secretly recorded and saved, this tape was akin to a blackmail tactic comparable to tapping a phone or hacking an email for information. So all is fair in politics on either side I guess.
The truth to this dumb Trump move from actions in 2005 when he was playing the role of TV celebrity and man of the world is that Trump was playing a role. Just listening to the content of the tape, anyone with common sense can hear that this is absurd macho riffing--"locker-room banter as Trump accurately called it--crude exchanges for the sake of humor or braggadocio that men (and women) will sometimes engage in when together in lax private situations.
The thing that I found most incredulous was the feigned shock that so many expressed upon hearing the tape. People exclaimed that they'd never heard anyone talk like this before. Many men were on the record of stating that they or those they knew had never said anything like this. Liars! Liars all! Or most--okay, so maybe a few were raised in monasteries or very sheltered surroundings, but I've heard such talk and worse from people I know, overheard from people I don't know, read in books, and heard in movies. This is the way a lot of people speak. Not that I condone this, but it's out there. Trump should have had more class than to engage in such banter, but he was heading to a soap opera set on an Access Hollywood bus. Think about it. Is this really a setting where you expect to hear lofty talk?
The women accusers--Immediately after the release of the NBC tape, coincidentally a parade of women came out in mainstream media with accusations that Trump had assaulted them. Well, number one, let's say that the accusations as I heard described were true, then I and probably most other men who have pursued women in their lives would be also guilty of assault. None of the barely credible sounding accusations seemed anywhere near as serious as anything that Bill Clinton was ever accused of and for that matter all of the accusations sounded rather absurd. At the end of the day all of the accusers quickly seemed to disappear as they were proved to be liars or unreliable sources with media ties. I believe Trump's denials of these accusations more than what any accuser claimed. Most likely these women were either opportunists seeking some kind of personal gain or they were connected to the media or the Clinton campaign (if there was any difference between these). The timing of their appearances on the scene was very suspicious and I doubt we'll ever hear of any of these women again--not even as trivia questions since no one remembers their names.
Carly Fiorina--Here's one that came early in Trump's campaign. When Trump was spending a day with a Rolling Stone reporter who was doing a story on him, at one point Carly Fiorina appeared on television and Trump made the comment, "Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?" When I heard this story on the radio I knew exactly what Trump was saying because I've said similar things about other political candidates. John Kerry and Lindsey Graham are two who come to my mind. When I see certain people like these talking on television I see their pinched austere expressions and think to myself that they maybe should take an Ex-Lax and spend an hour on the toilet. I find their expressions to be annoying in their austerity and smugness and they kind of bug me.
That's what I heard from Donald Trump when he made the comment about Carly Fiorina and the interpretation that I understood was that she often looked pinched and severe when she spoke. I happen to think that Fiorina is an attractive woman, but sometimes she comes across in a kind of hard way. A good thing for a leader to have I suppose, but still, I wouldn't necessarily want to deal with her facial expressions just as I wouldn't want to deal with having to see John Kerry give speeches--or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for that matter. Later, Donald Trump explained that when he had made the comment about Fiorina he was talking about her demeanor. Demeanor is exactly the word that came to my mind when I first heard the story. No sexist attack there in my opinion.
"Miss Piggy" and the Beauty pageants--To start with, Donald Trump did not invent beauty pageants. Like them or not, the beauty pageant concept has been around for decades. I grew up watching beauty pageants on television along with my parents and sister. The beauty pageant has long been a big part of American culture. As someone interested in the entertainment industry and who appreciates an attractive female, Donald Trump gravitated toward beauty contests and invested in several of them as a money making opportunity. There is big money to be made in the beauty pageant industry. In fact, in the late sixties, my own father even invested in a beauty pageant franchise that was short-lived, but it was something in which he anticipated the possibility of making some big bucks. The beauty pageant industry is a legitimate and potentially lucrative entertainment vehicle which was a natural direction for someone like Donald Trump to pursue.
As far as the most notable charge of shaming Alicia Machado because of her weight gain, this is a silly charge dug up by the Clinton campaign. Winning beauty contestants are always under contract to maintain a certain image that reflects the standard of beauty and physical perfection that led to their winning the contest. The situation with the Machado case was publicity oriented for the benefit of the pageant and Machado herself. This is a big nothing publicity stunt by the Clinton people that essentially had little effect to diminish Trump and probably did little to help Machado.
The other past beauty contestants that came out to denigrate Trump were far outnumbered by those who praised Trump and were appreciative for opportunities they gained from their association with them. Considering those charges that he would walk through dressing rooms where contestants were naked or changing clothes, this is the nature of the business. Having long been involved in the entertainment business I know how this goes. Changing clothes and being scantily clad in the presence of the opposite sex is common and typically no big deal. Those who have never been a part of this kind of culture need to accept what it is and just get over it in relation to Donald Trump.
Rosie O'Donnell--What is there to say really? In my opinion the woman is a disgusting pig who is offensive, annoying, and with a talent I would deem negligible. Anything Trump said about her is probably in line with what many think. She could have been a man for that matter and if Trump had said the same things nobody would have cared. Who actually admires Rosie O'Donnell and enjoys her dubious talents? Case closed unless someone wants to reopen it.
Megyn Kelly--I'll admit to being a fairly regular Fox News viewer so I am well familiar with Megyn Kelly's show. At first I liked her, but then her head gesturing, mugging, eye rolls, and other gesticulating that was like a wordless commentary on the news began to annoy me. I began to realize that she is more of a news entertainer than the legitimate journalist that she claims to be. Megyn Kelly is better suited to a show like The Today Show or The View than actual serious journalism. That's my opinion.
Trump's feud with Megyn seemed ridiculous to me, but I wouldn't call it sexist or misogynistic or anything of that nature. He used charged words that some construed as being sexist, but personally I think Trump just knows what will get a rise out of certain journalists and wannabes as well as certain segments of the consumers of public affairs news. And he certainly milked the publicity for all that it was worth. So did Mugging Megyn. I'm sure the feud helped her sell her recently released book (which I would never consider buying).
The dumbest Megyn related controversy was after the debate co-hosted by Kelly. Later Donald Trump said in relation to one part of the debate exchange that, "She (Megyn) had blood coming out of her eyes...out of her wherever..." and this was immediately conflated by the media morons as being a sexually charged insult referring to menstrual flow. As usual their minds were in the gutter assuming that everything has to do with sex.
To me what Trump said had nothing to do with what the pundits claimed. What I heard was Trump using an old idiom to express rage or anger. "He/she had blood coming out of her ears" used to be a somewhat common thing to say prior to the seventies or so. I remember my father using that expression sometimes. Since Donald Trump and I are products of the same generation, he undoubtedly frequently heard this expression used in his life. Like me he probably has rarely or never used this expression, but maybe it came to his mind when he was saying "blood coming out of her eyes" and upon realizing that the expression wasn't quite right and to keep his flow of patter quick he added "her wherever" with no intent to mean anything more than that.
Listening carefully to the nuance of his phrasing, that was my first impression upon hearing his words and it's the only thing that makes sense. Donald Trump can certainly sometimes be crude in his speech, but in this case I'm sure that he had no intent to be so. He misstated an idiom and instead of floundering to remember the correct one he improvised to move on. I pass more judgement on those who interpreted his words otherwise.
Multiple marriages--He's been married three times. Not something to be proud of, but in no way does that mean Trump is sexist or hates women or anything like that. Plenty of men have been married more than once including me. It's not something that I ever planned on, but it just happened that way. Partly it's the society we live in. Divorce is easy and it is something that happens to plenty of us.
Outrageous statements on the Howard Stern Show and elsewhere--Plenty of celebrities appear on the Howard Stern Show and say very outrageous things. Stern encourages it as well because that's mostly what his show is. He's a shock jock. I used to listen to the Stern show all the time until it became too much for me. Nevertheless Stern remains popular and so do a lot of other shows where crudeness, sex talk, and political incorrectness is the norm. All sorts of people appear on these shows to say things many of us would never consider saying and many listeners continue to tune into these shows on a regular basis. Once again this is all a reflection on the society and Trump has been a part of that culture. He probably kind of regrets those appearances now, but what are you going to do to change the past. Nothing.
That's all I've got for now, but I'm sure there are some of you who can come up with other examples. Feel free to name whatever you think of in the comment section or give your thoughts on the examples I've mentioned. But when you do, please remember the generation of Trump (which is also the generation in which I grew up). This is the era that gave us free love in the sixties, crazed sex of the Disco Era, nudity and sex in mainstream movies, and willing acceptance of rampant use of foul language. Things that Trump has said are mild compared to what we hear in much popular music or see in top ranking films on a regular basis.
We're listening so go ahead and spout off.
Next I'll get into some really offensive issues (to some) that are guaranteed to lose some followers and readers of this blog.
There's still time to vote in my current Battle of the Bands post. Please come over to visit if you haven't voted yet. I'll be posting results on Monday January 9th.