This was supposed to the Year of the Woman with Hillary Clinton poised to crash through the glass ceiling—before Bernie Sanders, the private email server saga and Donald Trump’s unexpected burn-and-slash path to the GOP nomination.
But in an extraordinary turn of events, Trump’s lewd comments about women have unleashed protests around the country as women take to the streets as well as social media to condemn his remarks about their bodies and their relevance in today’s society. Boasting about his pursuit of women in a 2005 tape, Trump revived stereotypes of the Alpha male boss harassing the lesser sex.
The world has changed, however, and Trump has ignited a spontaneous feminist movement, a clearly unintended consequence of his presidential run.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) and Public Advocate Letitia James joined other elected officials and women’s groups outside Trump Tower this week waving signs that said “Trump Demeans Women.”
Their message was clear: We will not give up the progress women have made—hard-won victories with many barriers to employment, elected office and the corporate boardroom dismantled.
Maloney, a women’s rights advocate and longtime Clinton supporter, stood in for the Democratic nominee who has been sidelined on this issue by Trump’s attacks on her husband, Bill Clinton, which paint her as an enabler of his escapades. Ironically, Melania Trump has also defended her husband’s antics.
Other lawmakers in Queens have had little to say publicly about Trump’s indiscretions with the political landscape in flux as the steady stream of disturbing revelations about each candidates is released.
Two Queens GOP leaders characterized Trump’s remarks about women as locker room talk and a bump on the road, but this was in response to a TimesLedger reporter’s questions.
As for gender politics, Queens has had three female borough presidents in a row. Women hold seats in Congress, the City Council and state Legislature, but the numbers should be higher.
Queens also produced Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman nominated for vice president by a mainstream political party. Trump left his Queens roots behind in the move across the river to Manhattan, where he now claims to have great respect for women.
If that’s the case, one has to wonder why the first female candidate to win a major party nomination for president is facing an opponent who brags about his conquests and rates women on their sex appeal. Would that be a winning strategy if he were running against a man?