I wonder if, sometime in the next four years, I will hear a statement about women from President-Elect/President Trump that is not colored with a sexist crayon. Today, when speaking about Hillary Clinton, Trump announced that he will “help her heal” instead of “locking her up” like he promised during his campaign. The implication is that Clinton is so devastated that he is being magnanimous. She needs Trump’s help to heal—that poor little woman.
Hearing that statement, I immediately found myself angry, not simply because I am a Hillary supporter, but because I am a “strong woman supporter.” Hillary lost the election. It was surprising, disappointing, even devastating, but I don’t think she needs Trump’s pat on the head or his intervention to help her recover. His statement makes it sound like Hillary bit off more than she could chew, that she went up against a superior force, that there was no way she could win. She’s learned her lesson, and the victor can now be generous.
Trump may appear impulsive, but he seems to have an underlying motive, a clear calculation for all that he does. Perhaps his new caring way with regard to Hillary is based on the fact that she won the popular vote, that she received over 2 million more votes than he did. Helping her “heal” might also help all of her voters realize the error of their ways and the error of their votes. His forgiving gesture will cause them to admire and idolize Trump the way he admires and idolizes himself.
Hillary doesn’t need sympathy—Trump’s or ours. Over the past 30 years, she has proven that she is a survivor, that she is resilient, that she can overcome adversity, even defeat. She is one of the best examples of a strong woman that this country, and the world, has seen. Trump thinks she needs his help to heal. Oh, please. President Trump, get a grip.
Women’s rights advocate Gloria Steinem once said, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” I would add, or like HIllary Clinton needs Donald Trump’s sexist pandering.