Donald Trump Thinks Insulting Women Is Wrong — Unless It's For "Entertainment" Value, Then It's Fine!
During an interview with the Las Vegas television station KSNV on Wednesday, Donald Trump claimed some of his insults towards women were for entertainment purposes. Trump appeared to justify his history of criticizing women's bodies by explaining that the remarks were made through the lens of his entertainment alter-ego and don't reflect his actual feelings about women. As Hillary Clinton has wisely used Trump's insults about women as the audio for one of her political ads, featuring young girls examining their reflections while a Trump's negative remarks about women's bodies play, KSNV's Jim Snyder asked for Trump's thoughts about his influence on young girls:
You have two beautiful daughters past their teenage years. Can you understand the concern from parents of younger girls that some of your comments could be hurtful to girls struggling with body image and the pressure to be model-perfect?
As revealed in a transcript of the interview posted by CBS' Sopan Deb, Trump seemed to acknowledge in his response that, while he's aware of the possible effects his comments had on young girls, he considers those remarks as conveniently separate from his personal stance on women:
Sure I do. And you know, a lot of this is done in the entertainment business. I’m being interviewed for Apprentice long before I ever thought in terms of running for office... But a lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment.
Later on in the interview, Trump added, "I will say this. Nobody has more respect for women and nobody is gonna defend our country stronger than Donald Trump."
Even if we took his statements with a suspension of disbelief, and believed that Trump, in fact, holds women in high regard and was just playing on television — this doesn't address the fact that Trump thought it was worth demeaning women for entertainment value. We can't forget that the media heavily influences body-image in young girls (and everyone). Studies from the National Eating Disorders website reveal a consistent correlation between increased media exposure and eating disorders. One would hope that a mature and sensitive adult would consider the ways sustained media objectification affects mental health issues in girls and women.
To be fair, Trump's claim that no one respects women more than he does would sound outlandish coming out of anyone's mouth, since you can't mathematically quantify respect. However, that doesn't diminish the fact that throwing women under the bus in the name of "show business" is pretty much the opposite of showing them any modicum of respect.
Unfortunately for Trump, it is all too clear that his trail of misogyny wasn't confined to his persona on The Apprentice. From his former suggestion that women seeking illegal abortions should be punished to his obsessive hammering of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado for her weight — nearly two decades after he worked with her — Trump has shown that his demeaning rhetoric towards women isn't just part of reality TV; it's his actual reality.