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Commentary By Heather Mac Donald

Trump's Tweets and the Feminist Double Standard

Culture Culture & Society

Here we go again with feminist vapors over a childish Trump tweet. Trump lashed out at the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, after Mika Brzezinski derided the president as “lying every day and destroying the country.” Trump asked why “low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe [Scarborough]” allegedly insisted on joining him at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve, adding that Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” He concluded triumphantly: “I said no!”

Trump’s vindictive tweets degrade the presidency. They continuously remind the public of Trump’s dangerous lack of self-control, weakening his authority, instead of strengthening it, as he seems to believe. Moreover, they provide an abysmal example to boys of mature male comportment.

But it is the height of hypocrisy for feminists to claim that females should be equal in all things and then erupt in outrage when they receive the same boorish treatment that Trump routinely doles out to males. Suddenly, the scorned values of chivalry and a Victorian respect for women’s delicate sensibilities resurface in a petulant claim of vulnerable group identity. Representative Nancy Pelosi called the president’s Twitter posts “sexist, an assault on the freedom of the press and an insult to all women.” Dianne Feinstein weighed in on MSNBC: “I’m appalled. This is the president of the United States. You don’t do things like that. You don’t attack women.” Democratic National Committee spokesman Adrienne Watson said that “Trump’s bullying tweets are an attack on women everywhere.”

Why weren’t all men equally insulted by Scarborough being called “psycho?” The New York Times did not even report that epithet in its front-page lead story on the offending tweet, except as mentioned by a female Republican pollster who had counted the number of characters devoted to Brzezinski and to Scarborough. (Naturally, the pollster reached the usual conclusion that Trump was a sexist.) During the campaign, Trump routinely mocked Rick Perry’s intelligence and eyeglasses and belittled George Pataki’s political virtù. He mocked the size of Marco Rubio’s ears and insinuated that his own sexual organ would put everyone else’s to shame. There was no men’s-movement backlash claiming that “all men” were being attacked.

With typical feminist narcissism, the Times claims that the silly tweets were about “gender”: “The tweets ended five months of relative silence from the president on the volatile subject of gender,” write reporters Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman. The tweets “reintroduced a political vulnerability,” they opine, “his history of demeaning women for their age, appearance and mental capacity.” No, Trump’s tweet was not “on the volatile subject of gender,” it was about two specific individuals. Trump doesn’t give a damn about gender, and rightly so. Wrongly, he recklessly indulges his pique, but he does so as an equal-opportunity offender, treating his real and imagined enemies with perfect equality.

It would be nice if Western feminists displayed comparable degrees of outrage at mass sexual assaults in Western Europe, honor killings in the Middle East, or cliterectomies in Africa. The perpetrators of those actual misogynist attacks, however, are protected by the mandate of multicultural tolerance. It is only in the context of white heterosexual cis-normative males that feminists revive the antebellum code of protecting the honor of the womenfolk.

Trump’s tweet, along with his obsession with watching cable news, are beneath the office. But feminists belie their claim that females are identical to males every time they break down over an insult that would have been treated simply as a matter of Trumpian course if directed to a male.

This piece originally appeared on National Review Online


Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of The War on Cops.

This piece originally appeared in National Review Online