The idea of Trump being president is ludicrous, in my opinion. It's insane. It's the equivalent of giving the command of a nuclear destroyer to somebody who's spent their life playing battleships with plastic boats in the bath. And it is the choice posed to Americans at the ballot box today. If you're a woman, particularly a millennial engaged in the future of this country, this is not a choice you should endorse. It's not even one you should consider. There are garbage fires currently raging in alleyways with better prospects for the future of women in America than a Trump presidency. And there are a few good reasons why.
There are many, many legitimate reasons not to vote for Trump, ones related to race, for instance, or disability, or a basic interest in having somebody run the country who has ever held elected office or done anything with politicians, other than alienate them from their own party. A few, however, specifically relate to millennial women. We are in the remarkable position, in this election, of not being able to form specific policy-based arguments for and against both candidates, because only one has bothered to flesh out her future policies in any detail.
But there are sufficient indicators, drawn from speeches, media appearances, and decent surmises based on the evidence, that Trump would be bad news for women. And you should definitely care, as you head for the ballot box today; these are things that impact you, the women you care about, the girls being raised right now, and the young women who might one day immigrate to the U.S. and make it their home.
1. He Appears To Regard Women As Irrelevant Playthings
This is not new. It is not even vaguely news, but the enormity of the grossness can sometimes sweep away the details. Let us recap: this is a candidate who has, expressly and in a working environment, talked about grabbing women by the genitalia without their consent, who was accused of 12 separate allegations of sexual assault, who allegedly walked into changing rooms while young women in the pageant under his control were naked.
Women no longer have to put up with the notion that any man in a position of power will obviously and irretrievably hold sexist views, which, let's face it, has been the basic state of things since the founding of Western civilization. We can do better than that now, and have the right to demand more of our candidate for the highest honor in American politics than lip service to the idea of equality. We can do better than worrying that our commander-in-chief is going to create global chaos because he said something heinous about Angela Merkel. We can do better than a person who will create policy and day-to-day operations without the inherent need to consider women's worth, women's needs, or women's futures.
2. He Has Called Female Bodily Functions "Disgusting"
There is nothing more ridiculous, to me, than the fact that America is currently considering giving the presidency to a man who called a woman's bathroom break "disgusting" during a campaign stop. What exactly was disgusting about it? The fact that she has bodily functions? That she has genitalia? That she might go so far as to bleed, like every other adult menstruating woman on the planet? If Trump can get credit for anything, it's that he has definitely shown his unvarnished self while campaigning, even if he then tried to deny any of it ever happened. A person who is disturbed by the fact that a woman's body can do anything other than be grabbed or provide sexual satisfaction is likely not going to be capable of having intelligent conversations about, say, maternity leave, or regulating the safety of tampons, or the equal pay.
3. He's Dangerously Ignorant About Abortion
We gaped at Trump talking about ripping children from the womb in the ninth month of pregnancy and terming it a late-term abortion, despite the fact that such a process is not an abortion or anything close to it. That's the kind of rhetoric that would get you thrown out of a far-right think tank for being idiotic, and yet there it was on the world stage. The reality, of course, is that the removal of children from wombs in the ninth month is induced labor or birth.
What Trump thought he was referring to, the phenomenon called "partial-birth abortion" by conservative politicians, is actually an incredibly rare procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which occurs in the heinously painful circumstance that a pregnancy becomes a threat to the health of the mother and, in some cases, the child. This is not a circumstance in which you want the person sitting in the Oval Office to be guessing. This is not a circumstance in which they are allowed to fudge their answers and make deeply offensive remarks that invalidate the misery of that experience.
4. His Likely Cabinet Members Aren't Female Or Openly Pro-Woman
Tired of talking about Trump? Let's look at his potential Cabinet. Newt Gingrich, who's been suggested as secretary of state, distinguished himself recently by accusing Megyn Kelly of FOX of being "fascinated by sex," and reportedly once tried to deny welfare to young mothers in favor of funding orphanages. Rudy Giuliani said he thought Trump would be better for the United States "than a woman" who's only ever produced "a lot of work for the FBI checking out her emails," and he's up for attorney general. Reince Priebus, who's in line for chief of staff, tweeted in September that Clinton was "upset and defensive — no smile and uncomfortable" while on NBC. It's safe to assume that Trump hasn't picked people who will openly start to push a pro-woman agenda.
5. His Supreme Court Picks Could Create Serious Problems For Women
What happens for the Supreme Court when the presidency is sorted remains unclear; a lot of dust has to settle first. At the moment, with the death of Justice Scalia, the bench is gridlocked with four conservative and four liberal judges. If the circumstances are right for Trump to put forward a candidate (he's already put out a list of 22 possibilities, one of whom has formally rejected the entire idea because he disagrees with Trump on issues like religious freedom), the results may not be very good for women. At all.
Trump has declared that he would attempt to reverse Roe v. Wade and make abortion a state-by-state issue, which, as ThinkProgress notes, may become more and more possible in the next four years as the remaining judges age. Other issues will also become vulnerable, including libel laws, but it's Roe that's really the thing that women should worry about.
A president isn't just for a day; it's for four years. Four years of sexism, four years of offense, four years of being regarded as disgusting second-class citizens, four years of facing the reshaping of legal structures designed to protect our autonomy and our rights. It is also a potential lifetime when it comes to the Supreme Court. Trump is not the choice for young women; he's not the choice for women at all. VOTE.