Miss America: One student point of view on one candidate’s treatment of women

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Photo of Donald J. Trump taken in 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

From the start, republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has been at the center of controversial media catastrophes. In June of 2015, he accused Mexican immigrants of being rapists. In November of the same year, he made headlines after mocking a disabled reporter at a rally. Just before announcing his highly controversial plan to ban “all Muslims” in early December, he advocated the killing of terrorists families, a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. The six months alone, Trump has promoted assault against protesters, implied that “second amendment people” can use their gun rights against Hillary Clinton. accused President Barack Obama and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton of being the “founders of ISIS.”

Though at this point, it seems that there isn’t a group that Trump has yet to offend, it appears that women are constantly at the heart of his attacks. In August of 2015, he stated that debate moderator Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Just over a month later he told Rolling Stone that fellow primary candidate Carly Fiorina didn’t have the looks to be president. When the Muslim Gold Star parents of Capt. Humayun Khan spoke at the democratic national convention, Trump stated that the reason Ghazala Khan did not speak was because she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.

In the past few weeks, Trump’s display of disrespect for women seems to have reached a tipping point. When a video released of him making vulgar comments about attempting to have sexual contact with a married woman, many people – fellow republicans included – announced they would no longer support him next month in the election. As more reports from women surface, such as ones claiming Trump walked into a dressing room of a Miss America pageant, or the current lawsuit from a Jane Doe who says she was raped by Trump when she was 13, he loses more and more supporters. At the third and final presidential debate, Trump referred to opponent Hillary Clinton as a “nasty woman.” The man who one claimed his supporters would still vote for him if he shot someone seems to have underestimated exactly what voters value in a president.

As a young biracial woman who already feels the effects of sexism in this country, I’m worried at how Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric will further excuse derogatory behavior towards minorities. The movement he’s raised – a group of America rejecting “political correctness,” – is harmful, because the root of what they are renouncing is respect. It’s alarming that Trump claims that no one respects women more than him – if his past actions are what he and his followers perceive to be respectful, our future is in big trouble.

Even though I’m too young to vote in this election, it’s upsetting to see one nominee be allowed to set such a vicious standard for treatment of women in the United States. It’s a shame to see so many people dismissing women who have made claims against him, especially in light of the video that surfaced of Trump describing actions of assault with vulgar language. By allowing a presidential nominee to set such a low standard for the treatment for the treatment of racial minorities, Muslim-Americans, and half of the population, we are tearing down the progress that civil rights groups have made.

Though the surfacing videos and allegations on Trump are scandalous, they are not surprising. We seem to have become accustomed to his behavior, though his toxic actions and hate speech are incredibly threatening to minority groups in the United States. On November 8,  I hope that people who do vote are able to see the that though Hillary Clinton has her share of scandals, Donald Trump poses a far greater threat to the future of the United States.