I watched the debate last night. I live-tweeted, emphatically, the entire event—against my better judgment—because if I couldn’t weep for the future of humanity, I was at least going to get these jokes off in the meantime.
Someone tell Trump to smile. He looks so much prettier when he smiles.
— Erika Nicole Kendall (@bgg2wl) September 27, 2016
And, I’m not much for partisan politics. I like to talk policy, but people? Far less interesting.
However, something that happened at the end of the debate caught my ear. When Secretary Hillary Clinton mentioned how Donald Trump was brutal to a Venezuelan Miss Universe pageant winner, calling her “Miss Housekeeping” to mock her sharing a nationality with women who are perceived as dominating that particular profession, Trump sat up a little straighter, almost as if to imply he couldn’t believe this was being brought up again. It’s almost as if he felt like this was merely a non-issue.
Except, it’s not only an issue, but it’s a hell of an issue.
Now, I remember hearing about the Machado situation a few years ago, because we were talking about men who publicly humiliate women for their size, and the sense of entitlement they feel in being able to regulate and police a woman’s body.
Look at him talk about her. He once told Howard Stern, “She gained like 55 pounds in 9 months […] she was like an ‘eating machine’ […] I guess she ate a lot of everything.” There’s no empathy there, there’s no respect there, there’s no “hey, is something going on that’s compelling you to violate this agreement that we have with you as our crowned champion?” No, he publicly humiliated her. He told them how much she used to weigh, and how much she weighs now. He gave them that information so that they could make their own determinations. Because they, too, should feel entitled to police her weight. He felt like shame should be utilized, shame multiplied to the kind of magnitude that a national spotlight can provide, to help keep her weight in check.
And shame did what shame does—it sent her into an eating disorder, one that I can only hope she’s gotten help for. Shame did what shame does, isolates women into believing that they need to hide—if not because they’re fat and feel guilty about it, they now also need to hide just to get away from the judgmental eyes and cruel things people say—and the hiding only sends them deeper into shame, because being isolated keeps you from connecting to another human being who could reassure you, “this too shall pass.” Shame did exactly what shame does, when it’s used by people in positions of power to control people who are not: it lulls them into compliance, in hopes that they stop the torture. They do what they need to do, in order to make the shame stop. To me, that explains the eating disorder to a tee.
We’ve said nothing of the fact that, despite her weight gain, which basic anatomy and biology have taught me did not happen overnight, he still used her for campaigns….and merely refused to pay her. He worked her like a dog, stiffed her on her pay, and then publicly mocked her for the body he had no problem exploiting.
What kind of man is this?
It should come to no one’s surprise that there are these kinds of men in America, and that there are people here who would lift a man like this up and put him in such close proximity to the White House. It should come as no surprise that people would struggle to see the irony in people who feel taken advantage of championing the “leadership” of a man who took advantage of every single person who he had power over. It doesn’t matter—the country is changing in a way that is too progressive; a man who represents every ounce of what holds us back, what has held us back, and what will make life not only worse but dangerous for all those we’ve welcomed into the fold of every day life out of the shadows… that is who these people want. And they want it at the expense of people who hold the least amount of power in this country.
We all must suffer so that they can feel “comfortable” again.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Fat women must suffer through starvation diets, bad advice, marathon-length treadmill sessions…so that “others” can be “comfortable” again?
This man is an egotistical, megalomaniacal, sociopathic, power-hungry, self-serving windbag. He’s the kind of man we all have known at one point in our lives. He believes he can chew up and spit out the little people, the kind who believes he “made you,” and can gleefully “break you” at his own discretion.
We’ve all known this kind of man at one point on our lives anymore. And watching that kind of man get this close to the presidency must be a terrifying thought.