When 63 million people voted to elect Donald Trump as the President of the United States, it opened up the floodgates for toxic white masculinity in America. We saw it coming, but we are just now fully experiencing the consequences and they are deeply disturbing.
No man represents toxic white masculinity more than Donald Trump. In modern American history, no man has been more openly insulting, cruel, demeaning, dishonest, bigoted, sexist, misogynistic, and xenophobic – even admitting that he used his wealth and privilege to sexually assault women at will – and boldly claiming that he could murder someone in the middle of a busy New York intersection – and not only do so without consequence, but actually be celebrated and elected President in the face of it all.
A dozen different women risked their lives and careers to come forward to say that Donald Trump sexually harassed and assaulted them, but he was elected anyway. On multiple occasions from the microphone during his campaign, the would-be President of the United States threatened and encouraged physical violence. He alluded to the size of his genitals in a debate and suggested tough questions he received were because a woman must’ve been on her period.
When Trump was elected, it gave white men, particularly white men in power, full unfettered permission to say or do whatever they want without consequence. After all, if Donald Trump could say or do all that he said and did, and be elected President, on what moral ground could anyone else stand, to call out others in power who did the same?
Maybe you’ve had a hard time keeping up with the recent tally of toxic white masculinity that has run amuck in our government – so please allow me to remind you. I’ll start with what we learned this past week and move backwards.
This weekend, Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker released his interview with Anthony Scaramucci – the Communications Director of the White House. In it, beyond frequently speaking of himself in third person with names like “The Mooch,” Scaramucci threatened to kill people responsible for leaks in the White House, then proceeded to use a series of X-Rated descriptions for his colleagues.
It would seem like the statements from Anthony Scaramucci would be the worst example of toxic white masculinity we could detail, but truthfully it’s not even close. Over the past few days, a very disturbing trend of conservative members of the government threatening women with violence has emerged. What’s peculiar is that the threats are consistently directed only at women.
Georgia Republican Congressman Buddy Carter, speaking of Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, said “Let me tell you, somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass.” If you aren’t from the South (I am), maybe you’ve never heard this phrase “snatch a knot in their ass,” but it basically means to exert sudden physical violence on someone to prove a point. I’ve heard it said a hundred times across my life. That’s what it means. Anyone saying otherwise is lying.
Before that, Congressman Blake Farenthold said if Collins and Murkowski were men he would challenge them to a physical duel saying “if it was a guy from south Texas I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.” Mind you, Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.
In another incident, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, in what could very well be criminal blackmail, threatened Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski if she didn’t vote for the repeal of Obamacare by telling her that a “no-vote” would have negative consequences for energy and land use in her state. This is a despicable threat and warrants a full investigation.
All of that happened in the past week!
Two weeks ago we learned that Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, in a series of vulgar emails, said, “I’m on you now. You are fucking with me now. Let’s see who you are Watch your back , bitch.”
In another email to a complete stranger, Kasowitz wrote: “Call me. Don’t be afraid, you piece of shit. Stand up. If you don’t call, you’re just afraid. I already know where you live, I’m on to you. You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise.”
Yeah. Really. The lawyer for the President of the United States not only cursed out a stranger, but told the stranger he knows where they live and will be visiting them. This is deranged! And we haven’t even gone back past mid-July!!!
Do you remember when Trump looked Brigette Macron, the First Lady of France, up and down, and told her “you’re in such good shape?” Or when Trump interrupted his phone call with the new Prime Minister of Ireland to tell reporter Caitriona Perry “has a nice smile on her face” then told the Prime Minister “I bet she treats you well.”
In May, which in the era of Trump seems like years ago, but was only two months back, then Republican candidate for Congress Greg Gianforte literally assaulted a reporter from The Guardian – body slamming him, then punching him. Gianforte vehemently denied it ever happened, but it was both recorded and seen by several eyewitnesses. Still denying it, Gianforte was elected to Congress later that night, was then charged with assault, and later admitted to the whole thing and apologized.
Again, how could the Republican Party ever even attempt to pretend like they care about what Gianforte did or try to hold him accountable, when the man they elected President of the United States openly admitted to even worse?
Trump’s America means many things, but this much is clear – it means toxic white masculinity is not just permitted, it’s fully empowered – and getting worse.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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