Every time that the President of the United States cruelly insults a woman who refuses to kowtow to him, he hurts every woman in America. That’s because he sets the tone as the country’s so-called “moral leader” and if he and his Chief of Staff John Kelly smear a strong prominent woman, like Frederica Wilson, as an ’empty barrel’, they are telling men across America that they can feel free to do the same. That’s right. If the president is regularly disrespecting women, then men that you know — bosses, co-workers, professors, friends, mates — will feel empowered to disrespect you. Especially if you disagree with them and let them know it.
Donald Trump called Myeshia, the young widow of Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, 25, the soldier who was killed in an ambush while on duty in Niger on Oct. 4, and didn’t exactly comfort her. To be fair, he may have been trying to say the right thing, but Trump has repeatedly demonstrated that he has a serious empathy problem. His words to her about how her husband “must have known what he signed up for,” just made her cry harder and pregnant Myeshia was devastated that Trump didn’t even know her husband’s name.
When Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, 75, who was in the car with Myeshia when the president’s call came in, revealed what had happened, Trump’s response was sadly predictable. He called Representative Wilson a liar, tweeting that the “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!”
Now, I can say that Trump’s attack was predictable — sad — because it’s just the latest, mean-spirited swipe he’s made at prominent women who dared to call him out.
Just three weeks ago Trump accused Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, of being “nasty to Trump” in a tweet and dissed her for “poor leadership ability” because she repeatedly begged for help for the devastated Puerto Ricans, who STILL today don’t have electricity, clean drinking water, enough food or phone service. His words echoed his description of Hillary Clinton, who he derided as a “nasty woman” after she definitively bested him in a presidential debate. Trump can’t stand a woman who challenges him. Let’s not forget that he tweeted that Morning Joe co-host and frequent critic Mika Brzezinski was a “low I.Q crazy” and that she had been “bleeding badly from a face lift” when she visited him in Mar-A-Lago last winter. She and her fiancé and co-host Joe Scarborough vehemently denied Trump’s accusations.
Then, there’s tv anchor Megyn Kelly who he called a “bimbo” and claimed that she had “blood coming out of her ‘whatever.'” He’s called Meryl Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses,” called Miss Universe “Miss Piggy,” slammed Republican rival Carly Fiorina‘s looks — “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” — and now he’s describing a very accomplished Congresswoman, Wilson, as “wacky” because she stood up for a Gold Star widow. Wilson is anything but wacky. She has spent her life trying to improve the lives of young people and her constituents. She was a teacher, and elementary school principal, a member of the Miami-Dade County School board. She founded the 5000 Role Models program, dedicated to reducing student dropout rates — Sgt. LaDavid Johnson was in the program. She’s been a member of Congress since 2010, vocally supported Trayvon Martin‘s family – constituents – and has fought hard against racial profiling, and bullying and hazing in schools. She has fought racism and sexism. She is NOT ‘wacky’ nor is she an ’empty barrel’ as Chief of Staff John Kelly had the nerve to call her.
Kelly, took to a podium on Oct. 19 to defend Donald Trump’s insensitivity to the late LaDavid Johnson’s widow and used his bully pulpit to debase Wilson as an “empty barrel.” Kelly, a 4-star general, has clearly been infected by Trump’s brutal misogyny. And don’t think this isn’t about you. You may not be a member of Congress, the Mayor of San Juan or a presidential candidate, but if the highest leaders in the land, have no respect for female leaders who defy them, they are spreading disrespect to every woman in America, including you.