Why calling Trump a misogynist exposes America's hypocrisy on women

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Five days ahead of the Wisconsin primary, Republican front-runner Donald Trump's contradictory remarks on abortion has stirred a controversy in an already heated-up American political circle.

Trump first said on Wednesday that women who undergoes abortion should face "some form of punichment". Then several hours later, after facing a backlash, he said women are victims of abortion and it is the doctors who carry out such procedure should be punished.

Also read: Trump suggests 'punishment' for women who get abortions

Trump's stand on abortion is confusing no doubt...

The real-estate tycoon has been known for his unclear stand on the issue of abortion. In a 1999 interview, he said he was in favour of pro-choice in every field though he said he hated the idea of abortion.

donald trump

...but he is more playing politics with the issue

Whether Trump individually believes in abortion or not is completely irrelevant. On Wednesday, he tried to mobilise the socially conservative electorate but his effort did not really succeed as he faced flak from almost everyone---leading anti-aboryion groups, the Democratic presidential runners and also those from his own party.

Of the three leading anti-abortion groups that lashed out at Trump, March for Life said his remarks were not in syn with the pro-life movement.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also slammed Trump on the issue. While the former said in a tweet: "Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Horrific and telling. -H", Sanders tweeted saying: "Your Republican frontrunner, ladies and gentlemen. Shameful."

The other two Republican presidential candidates, Ted Cruz and John Kasich also targeted Trump. While Cruz, with which Trump had an ugly spat over their respective wives, said the latter would say anything to get attention, Kasich said women shouldn't be punished for undergoing an abortion.

For Trump's opponents in the Republican Party, his constant attacks on women are something they are looking to capitalise on to corner the man, who is otherwise running away on every other count. When nothing else is working out, the focus is on 'exposing' Trump as a misogynist and whatever he has said against the likes of Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina and Heidi Cruz.

Earlier this week, Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged for grabbing a woman reporter's arm after a news conference in Florida earlier this month. The resignation by one of his foremost strategist Stephanie Cegielski who felt "disgusted" with Trump's acts as the presidential candidate also boosted those who felt that the man is not really up to the mark.

Misogyny is a political strategy for Trump but what about the rest of the US? 

Trump's remarks on women make up his political strategy in this fierce election. The man, who has given hope to the silent majority of the Americans who do not harbour any respect for the establishment by choosing not to be politically correct, deliberately speaks on women, immigrants and Muslims in derogatory terms mainly to boost the section of the American society which feels hopeless and lost, thanks to the time which is getting increasingly difficult for the common people.

Trump targets women, immigrants and Muslims to convey the message to the electorate: "Believe me, you are actually better than the women, immigrants and Muslims" and it sets an unwritten condition of voting in favour of Trump. This effort to ignite sexual hostility to make up for socio-economic tension is a dangerous but effective ploy. Being an outsider with little training in politics, one wouldn't expect anything better than Trump.

If the Americans are so sensitive about women issues, then why dodn't they elect a woman president in 227 years? 

But it is also unjust to target Trump for whatever negative the US is witnessing and hearing today about its women. George Washington became the first president of the US in 1789 and the country has seen 44 presidents since then. But the country, which is known for its high-quality treatment of women, hasn't seen a woman leading it in the last 227 years!

It isn't just an accident

Until 1920, women were not allowed to vote in each state of the Union and the US by then had almost 30 presidents. A number of woman starting from Victoria Woodhull in 1872 had contested the presidential elections in the US but not a single of them could make it big? Why just blame Trump?

The media in the US has displayed enough bias while covering women candidates running for the White House. Erika Falk has shown in her book Women for President that nine women presidential aspirants in the US got little just treatment from the media. According to Erika, the media saw women candidates as "unviable, unnatural, and incompetent, and often ignores or belittles women instead of reporting their ideas and intent. This thorough comparison of men's and women's campaigns reveals a worrisome trend of sexism in press coverage, a trend that still persists today."

Trump is a product of that very same culture. Why do the American political and media establishments externalise the problem today and put all the blame on Trump? That's nothing but sheer hypocrisy.

America's media has always judged women by their external traits 

The American media was always interested in the women candidates' looks, physical traits and fasion statements instead of understanding what they stood for and how would they fare.

Another aspect of the role of women in American politics is their low participation. Most of the high-office holders in the US have a lot of influence in the elite politics and eventually go on to occupy the White House. But since top posts like those of vice-presidents, governors and senators were shut for the women for a long time, it became naturally difficult for women to get closer to the presidency.

Today, the degree of women's participation in American politics has increased by far but yet the figures are much less when compared to men. In the world's most-revered democracy, these historical facts do not really look impressive and neither can one individual in Donald Trump suddenly be seen as a villain in issues related to women.

The US ranked 75th in the world in terms of women present in national legislatures behind countries like Rwanda, Cuba and South Africa. Besides the elite class's gender bias, the difficulty in balancing between work and life is another aspect which has obstructed women's progress to become the president of the country, feel experts.

The 2008 presidential election as historic of sort since the US saw an African-American man defeating a woman to become the commander-in-chief. Either way, it was history in the making and America chose the racial first over the gender first. This year again, the US has a fair opportunity to choose its first woman president. But what Hillary Clinton can potentially achieve, Donald Trump can't be just painted black for trying to undermine it.

It is a culture, not an individual.

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