“During a commercial break at a Democratic debate in December, Hillary Clinton stepped offstage to use the bathroom. Donald Trump, speaking at a rally a few days later, told supporters: 'I know where she went — it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.'”
--Nick Haslam, PhD. Melbourne School of Psychological Science
What an offensive statement to make about a woman. I remember when such a comment would have drawn outrage from all the public. Now, loose mouth blathering by Donald Trump and his followers – those who insult anyone they choose with an excuse of going against “political correctness” -- incite rudeness with regularity.
Trump understands that American women have been raised to never expose their bodily functions to men. He just doesn't care. Who can deny that women are still judged more severely for violations of the ideal of purity than men? Women are socialized to be more shame-prone than men, more mindful of being physically modest and substantially more likely to feel disgust.
In one study, a female experimenter who excused herself to use the bathroom was evaluated more negatively than one who excused herself to get some paperwork. No such difference was found for a male experimenter.
(Nick Haslam. “Psychology behind bathroom anxiety." Washinton Post in Stars and Stripes,
May 17, 2016.)
Donald Trump claims to have more free will than others do. Perhaps this is because of his substantial money, power, and sense of entitlement. Having free will can allow a person to make wonderful choices, but it also can drive him to make terrible choices. An extreme danger occurs when a person like Trump uses free will while assuming others' minds are less sophisticated and more superficial than his own.
Using what they consider their “enormous” privilege and vastly superior minds, the egotists target others as distant out-groups less able to experience complicated emotions, such as shame, pride, embarrassment, and guilt than close members of their own group. Donald Trump sees women in general as an out-group, a weak sub-species worthy of dehumanization.
Dehumanization is viewed as a central component to intergroup violence because it is frequently the most important precursor to moral exclusion, the process by which stigmatized groups are placed outside the boundary in which moral values, rules, and considerations of fairness apply. Please consider Trump's statements about Hillary Clinton's biological need to use the restroom in light of this understanding.
Haslam states that “the animalistic form of dehumanization occurs when uniquely human characteristics (e.g., refinement, moral sensibility) are denied to an out-group.” People that suffer animalistic dehumanization are seen as amoral, unintelligent, and lacking self-control, and they are likened to animals.
Trump uses this “mechanistic dehumanization” -- likening members of a group to inanimate objects -- as a means to his end. In this case, he likens Clinton to excretions in the toilet. That is about as base and dehumanizing as it gets. He often targets others as creatures of a lower order and, thereby, judges them incapable of the courtesies of higher order cognition, refined emotions, civility, and morality.
In his impudent manner, Trump is guilty not only of committing sexual objectification of women but also of humanization the female gender. Trump is a chronic sexist and a serial body shamer. He has a long history of insults aimed at females.
"He has a 30-year pattern of this kind of sexism against women and lashing out against women when he doesn't get his way," GOP strategist Tara Setmayer said in an interview with Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight (March 2016)."
Setmayer continued, "So, you're going to have a tough time defending this (Trump's tweets about Heidi Cruz and other women) if, God forbid, he's our nominee in the general (election). Do you think Hillary Clinton is going to let this kind of stuff go? This is mild in comparison to what's going to happen to him in the general."
"Women: You have to treat them like s--t."
"You could see there was blood coming out of her (debate moderator Megyn Kelly's) eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever." Trump also retweeted a comment calling her a “bimbo” (later deleted) and called her a “lightweight.”
Trump once sent a copy of a column from the New York Times' Gail Collins to the columnist in the mail, with "Face of a Dog!" written on her picture.
"You know, it really doesn`t matter what [the media] write as long as you`ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass."
"A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10."
“Rosie O'Donnell is a fat pig with the face of a dog.”
“Arianna Huffington is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man—he made a good decision.”
In a deposition, Trump called opposing counsel “disgusting” for wanting to break to pump milk for her 3-month-old daughter.
Trump called out Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina saying, "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?"
On Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars in 2013, Trump mused about the “pretty picture” of former Playboy Playmate Brande Roderick “dropping to your knees.”
Regarding Kim Kardashian, Trump said, “Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely. If it weren’t Kim, they’d say, ‘Wow, I don’t want to go out with her.’”
(Of Angelina Jolie) “I never thought she was good-looking. I don’t think she’s got good skin,” Trump declared. “I don’t think she’s got a great face. I think her lips are too big, to be honest with you. They look, like, too big.” (He went on and on about Jolie another time, adding, “I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she’s not — I do own Miss Universe. I do own Miss USA. I mean, I own a lot of different things. I do understand beauty, and she’s not.”)
Yet, Trump says, “I will be phenomenal to the women. I want to help women.”
"I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I've been challenged by so many people and I don't frankly have time for total political correctness and to be honest with you this country doesn't have time either," Trump said, defending past disparaging remarks about women.
"Frankly what I say and oftentimes it's fun, it's kidding, we have a good time," Trump added.
Donald Trump claims, "I cherish women."
And, Donald Trump says he should get a pass on his past insults toward women because he never planned to run for President.
I shutter to think what would happen to me if I, as a young person, had chosen to make such juvenile, hurtful comments. Trump's kind of “help, good times, and cherishing” would never have earned me a "pass." It would have caused my mom and dad to wear out a paddle out on my little butt. And, that punishment would have been well justified even when I possessed the mind of a child.
Women are not commodities or objects. They must treated with dignity. Trump endlessly objectifies women. He does so as a symbol of some senseless, new breed of man who likens civility with power. His manners are disgusting, and his tactics of dehumanization parallel the rise of despots and tyrants.