Donald Trump’s tumultuous campaign is a constant reminder that sexism is still alive and well in the U.S. Earlier this month, The Washington Post released a video to the public that showed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump describing how he touches women, which is considered sexual assault. This is not the first time Trump has showcased his blatant disrespect for women, and too many people feel Trump’s repulsive statements are somehow acceptable. Trump’s success in the race despite his offensive behavior is a symptom of the larger issue: the U.S. has not moved past unequal treatment of women.
Americans like to think that we have progressed past intolerance and discrimination. We have laws to give equal rights to women and prevent discrimination, such as Title IX to protect women in education, or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating based on sex or race. Yet, one in four women has experienced workplace sexual harassment, according to an ABC News poll. Women are often afraid to report abuse or harassment because they are worried about potential repercussions or mishandling of their cases. This kind of behavior is just one of the many obstacles women have to deal with to succeed in nearly all aspects of life.
Many prominent politicians are criticizing Trump for his statements and detracting their endorsements, but Trump’s supporters continue to justify his misogyny. Political commentator Ann Coulter defended Trump on a Twitter post, where she dismissed the statement as “locker room talk.” This kind of misogynistic “banter” should not be considered acceptable in a locker room or anywhere at all because it affirms a culture that degrades women.
Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has had to fight to overcome sexism as she campaigns for president. An online merchandiser told Time that his best-sellers were items that featured sexist attacks on Clinton, such as buttons saying “Hillary will go down faster than Bill’s pants” and “Trump that Bitch.” A former senator and secretary of state should garner a certain level of respect, but instead, her years of experience are overlooked when offensive attacks are made on her gender.
Unfortunately, our society has not gotten past misogyny, and women still have to deal with harassment on a daily basis. Hopefully, if Clinton is elected as the first female president, it will represent some progress being made toward a more gender-equal society.