The ‘Donald Trump’ effect

Ok, deep breath, I’m going there. Let’s talk about Donald fucking Trump.

I’ve resisted talking about him so far because, to be perfectly honest, for a feminist blog he feels like low hanging fruit as subject matter. Got nothing to say? Talk about Trump – job done.

But by not having mentioned him on this platform so far, I’m starting to feel he is conspicuous by his absence. After all, this blog is all about the issues that we face as feminists in today’s world. And he’s a big fucking issue. No doubt about that.

So here we go. Who knows where to start? It’s all too upsetting to contemplate. The man seems almost untouchable. He runs an antagonistic, illogical, hate driven campaign. And he wins. He dismisses his recorded admission of sexual assault/sexual harassment of women as ‘locker room banter’ and Teresa May holds hands with him and offers a state visit. He effectively seeks to brand all muslims as terrorists and implements hugely racist policies and 10 Downing Street shrugs, says the state visit invitation still stands and *silently* prays that the US will still agree to a trade deal with the UK because, you know, Brexit. (Don’t get me started on that one…).

And now, for the crappy cherry on top of the shitty cake, he has retweeted videos posted by Britain First. Which is almost beyond comprehension. Let me repeat, the President of the United States has retweeted and effectively endorsed a dangerous hate group. As Brendan Cox (Jo Cox’s widow) tweeted, he may as well have retweeted something from the KKK.

And the man still stands! How is this possible?? Is he really holding the same position that was so recently held by Barak Obama. It doesn’t seem real.

Donald Trump represents (for so many many reasons) a huge danger to our society and not least for what I will probably now forever call, the ‘Donald Trump’ effect. Which is, that regardless of what behaviour we encounter that initially seems utterly abhorrent and completely unacceptable, we seem to collectively get used to the status quo very very quickly. Dangerously quickly. And I can’t think of anyone in modern history who has taken advantage of this fact more successfully than Donald Trump.

Think about it for a second. When he first sought to effectively ban muslims from entering the US, there were huge protests. Both here and in the US. And yes, that policy was legally quashed. However, if he was successful in reinstating it via another means now, do you think there would be the same level of public outrage? Or would there instead be a quieter, more resigned and upset acceptance that this is simply what this awful man was always going to do? It’s Trump, after all. It’s just what he does. I’m inclined to think the latter I’m afraid. And despite Hollywood stars and powerful men in all industries falling beneath the mighty wheels of #metoo, the most powerful man in America simply dismisses his accusers as liars and marches on, unscathed.

He just keeps insisting on setting the bar lower and lower and every time his behaviour sinks to a new low, the previous, marginally less repulsive behaviour, seems to almost become accepted simply by virtue of being ‘not quite as awful’.

And that’s a dangerous cycle. And one we must remain aware of. We should never simply accept the status quo without question or challenge. After all, the status quo originated somewhere. We should not lose perspective on anything that Donald Trump does simply because we are judging him by the standards he set. Judge him by the standards of his predecessors in the role and you will never lose sight of how truly awful this dangerous, hate filled, emotionally unstable man is.

And, to bring it back to the point of this blog, we should never lose sight of what we are fighting for as feminists in this day and age. Simply because the status quo is that men hold more power than women, this does not make it right. And if you were ever unsure how important this fight currently is, look towards the most powerful leader in the free world and ask yourself how he got there? Think about who voted for him. And ask yourself whether you really want the world to be run by men like him in the future?


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