Asked about Hillary Clinton pulling off another big victory Tuesday evening, winning four out of five primary states against Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump doubled down on his previous comments that Clinton’s success is not about her experience or achievements, but rather her gender. “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get five percent of the vote,” he said at his Trump Tower victory party. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card. The beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.” (The sentiment earned him what looked like an eye-roll from Chris Christie’s wife Mary Pat, who was standing just behind the candidate as cameras rolled.)
Trump’s comments were pure pandering for the privileged-yet-perpetually-aggrieved vote — those Americans who feel they’re the real victims of discrimination in our society.
But in addition to being wrong on a number of counts, the comments bring to mind the following truth: If Trump were a woman, running for the GOP nomination, he’d have damn near zero percent of the vote.
Imagine if Donald Trump were Donna Trump, who inherited wealth from her father, drove multiple businesses into bankruptcy and then used her fame to become a big-mouthed reality-TV star. Imagine Donna deciding to run for the highest office in the land and then belittling a male debate moderator by referencing his bodily fluids. Imagine Donna making public allusions to how awesome her vagina is. And imagine Donna stating that if she weren’t related to her son, she just might sleep with him.
In a party so interested in keeping women “in their place” — and for a candidate with even less political experience than Sarah Palin — Donna Trump wouldn’t stand a chance.
It’s well documented that in our society women must work harder than men to make it into positions of power and to subsequently remain there. For example, there are fewer female CEOs of all names in the United States than male CEOs named John, and female representation in Congress is still only around 20 percent. Women bosses are held to higher standards than male bosses, and ambitious and assertive women in all sectors are routinely dinged for behavior that’s seen as positive among men. (Of course, all of these issues are only that much more intractable for women of color.)
There’s simply no evidence of an all-powerful “woman’s card” being wielded throughout our society on poor, unsuspecting men.
The truth is that we still live in a society that’s deeply sexist and misogynistic, on both an individual and a systemic level. If you want to believe Hillary Clinton is pandering for votes when she talks about women’s issues, fine, but please refrain from evoking a mystical “woman card” (or any card, for that matter). Privilege still exists, and men — especially rich, white men — still have it. It’s certainly helped Donald Trump win primary after primary, while Donna Trump would’ve been shamed out of this race long ago.