As Women's History Month draws to a close, it's difficult to feel like much was celebrated, or worth celebrating, this year. The nation's leaders spent a large chunk of the month figuring out how to take away even more basic rights from American women, so March didn't ring with the feminist spirit that it has in the past. In particular, Donald Trump and his executive branch found evermore surprising ways to denigrate both the past and present legacy of women in society. Here are 17 ways the White House mocked Women's History Month, even if they weren't intentional.
Trump's track record on women started off bad in the early days of his campaign and only proceeded to get worse. Between the Access Hollywood tape, his male-dominated cabinet, and his various anti-feminist regulations in office, it's almost like he isn't even trying to fight the perception that he's sexist anymore. His staff isn't helping much, either — Press Secretary Sean Spicer's gotten himself in some sticky situations trying to spin the administration's commitment to feminism this month, mostly because nobody in the whole country is buying it. Trump may never have been able to redeem himself after the horrendously sexist statements he made during the campaign, but these 17 examples of anti-feminism in the last month show that he isn't trying to, either.
When Trump Tweeted This
I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2017
You knew it wasn't going to be a great start to the month when...
By Giving Ivanka Trump A Job
Trump's unilateral appointment to an unspecified White House job is an insult to the millions of women who worked hard to achieve high-ranking positions in their industries.
When Sean Spicer Actually Said That Trump Made Women's Empowerment A Campaign Priority
Sean Spicer: "The president made women's empowerment a priority throughout the campaign" https://t.co/dDCOKwJb9O— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 29, 2017
Also, When Spicer Tried To Police A Black Female Reporter's Body
Spicer seriously told Ryan to stop shaking her head after repeatedly cutting her off during a press briefing. Because apparently women aren't allowed to express any kind of opinion that Spicer doesn't agree with, even through body language.
When VP Mike Pence Didn't Notice A Key Missing Component In This Conversation On Maternity Care
Wonder what's missing from this critical decision on women's health care? WOMEN.
When Trump Wouldn't Shake Angela Merkel's Hand
Spicer defended Trump by saying he didn't hear Merkel's request for a handshake, but given that he bashed her on Twitter just a few hours after she left the White House, the excuse doesn't hold much credibility.
When Pence's Self-Censoring Revealed His Attitude Toward Women
I see a lot of tweets dismissing the Pence story, i.e., who cares what a man and his wife decide is best for their marriage? I get that, but— Salena (@Salencita) March 30, 2017
The Washington Post's recent profile on Second Lady Karen Pence sparked some outrage due to her husband's rule about never attending events where alcohol is being served or eating alone with women without his wife. It might seem nitpicky to some, and ultimately, it's between the Pences and their marriage, but it sends the signal that women can't be trusted to be professional and are little more than temptation to be avoided.
When Trump Talked To Truckers Without Addressing The Industry's Gender Gap
Trump invited members of the trucking industry to the White House to talk about health care (but ostensibly so he could play with their big rig). What wasn't mentioned was that women make up only 5 percent of the trucking workforce, leaving women out of these good-paying jobs.
When Trump Stayed Silent About The Missing Girls In His Own City
Despite tweets about The Apprentice, Snoop Dogg, and fake wiretapping this month, Trump hasn't said word one about the dozen black and Latinx girls reported missing in Washington, D.C. over the last several weeks.
When Pence Voted To Defund Abortion Providers
Pence broke a tie in the Senate Thursday, voting to overturn Title X and leave about 4 million women without access to birth control and affordable reproductive care.
When The Energy Department Banned The Phrase Climate Change
This is an insult to the women fighting on the front lines of climate change and the women who pioneered climate research.
When The Census Bureau Announced That LGBTQ+ People Won't Be Counted
Real feminism is LGBTQ+ inclusive and honors the incredible women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (#TransDayofVisibility) who created the movement that led to the freer and fuller understanding of human sexuality which mainstream American society holds today. Refusing to acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community in the Census should be an outrage to everyone who calls themselves feminist.
When Trump Appointed This Anti-LGBTQ+ Lawyer To Head The HHS Civil Rights Office
Trump's appointment of Roger Severino is another slap in the face to women's history, particularly to the trans women who have fought to have their gender identity validated over offensive and uneducated remarks like the ones Severino has made in the past.
When Trump Tried To Drag Hillary Clinton To Distract People From His Own Problems
Trump really tried to say that Clinton should be investigated for her ties to Russia, which could be listed in the dictionary as an example of the word irony.
When Trump Just Wouldn't Shut Up About Himself
Thanks you for all of the Trump Rallies today. Amazing support. We will all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/qSD1tYUhmP— President Trump (@POTUS) March 25, 2017
Trump's Twitter timeline just shows no deference to the fact that not everything is about him — it's all about his jobs message, his health care plan, his successes. Many people hoped that being president would teach Trump the humility he lacked in the campaign, but so far, that change has yet to happen.