Reminder: Our President Is Still a Misogynist

By Nicole Rapfogel, Field and Outreach Intern, Duke University Stanback Internship Program

The United States was recently ranked among the 10 most dangerous nations for women. Is that any surprise, given that the leader of our country is a raging misogynist?

In case you forgot, President Donald Trump has infamously joked about nonconsensual grabbing of women’s genitals, repeatedly makes incestuous remarks sexualizing his daughter, constantly insults women’s physical appearances when faced with any criticism, and is accused of sexual misconduct toward 19 women. Amid the #MeToo movement, powerful men ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Morgan Freeman have faced professional and legal repercussions, yet our nation’s leader continues to wield power and degrade women from the Oval Office, with no consequences for his actions.

If only Trump’s complete and utter disregard for women’s humanity ended with his personal attributes and comments. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has brought its misogyny into the policy arena.

On his second day in office, President Trump implemented an expanded version of the Global Gag Rule. This policy restricts foreign NGOs from even mentioning abortion – even when legally permissible in the country or community where they work. The Global Gag Rule uses women’s bodies as collateral damage in pursuing its political anti-choice agenda. We know that past Global Gag rules have led to more unsafe abortions, reduced access to contraceptives, higher dropout rates from school for women and girls, and thousands of deaths of women and children. With the Trump administration’s expansion of the policy to all global health assistance, the impacts are anticipated to be so much worse.

The Global Gag Rule, coupled with defunding the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), proves that the Trump administration does not value the health and lives of women and girls.

Trump has extended these anti-women policies to the domestic front. The Trump administration has undermined Title X protections by rescinding a rule that guaranteed family planning access for 4 million low-income Title X recipients.  This “domestic gag rule” would prevent Title X family planning service sites from providing abortion information or referrals, essentially “gagging” them from providing legal and medically accurate information. Due to systemic inequalities, it will disproportionately restrict the rights of people of color.

Trump’s nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has already resulted in the numerous attacks on civil rights. The Supreme Court has allowed fake clinics to mislead and lie to women, restrict voter rights, and ban immigrants on a religious basis.

As President Trump moves to quickly replace Justice Kennedy with a right-wing conservative, hard-won liberties ranging from same-sex marriage to abortion rights to affirmative action may be overturned. Trump’s Supreme Court nomination will have generational impacts, with a conservative lens that may quite literally send us back in time to a pre-Roe era of women lacking full citizenship.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, four states will immediately ban abortion and ten states will revert back to restrictive pre-Roe laws that have never been repealed. Regulating abortion will be left entirely up to state legislatures. States have passed over 400 laws restricting abortion access in the last 6 years alone, rendering this very real prospect incredibly frightening. The Trump administration has co-opted yet another branch of government into his crusade on women’s and human rights.

Trump has notoriously proclaimed, “No one respects women more than I do.” However, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s lies are readily disputed by his actions. He has made it clear that women’s rights, health, and lives do not matter.

If the overhaul of nearly all the freedoms we hold dear sounds dystopian and horrifying, that’s because it is. Our rights are under attack and now is the time to act.

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee will undoubtedly further restrict the rights of women and other marginalized groups. Take action against the Trump administration’s further restriction of civil rights and attend a #SaveSCOTUS event near you. Want to do more? Join us and #Fight4HER by signing our petition in support the Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, and take part in our Summer of HER activism.

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