The Casual Sexism To Which We’ve All Grown Accustomed

The 2016 Presidential race continues to be a masterclass in sexism in America.

In the wee hours of this morning, Donald Trump decided we needed to hear more about Alicia Machado.  So he tweeted to us all, three times, to triple down on his disparaging remarks against her.  His last text was his worst:

Note the ease with which he calls a woman “disgusting” and then makes casual mention of a sex tape — something for which there is no proof (although it would be a problem even if there were evidence of a tape) and which appears to be a hoax being peddled by crazies on the fringes of the internet.

Setting aside the fact that a Presidential candidate relying on internet trolls as reliable sources, Trump’s tweet is simply another example of how casually we in the U.S. treat overt expressions of misogyny. While this election cycle has emboldened people to give voice to some of their uglier racist impulses, typically folks have been careful enough not to give voice to their disparaging thoughts about other races.  But the same isn’t true with sexism.  Whether in the workplace, on the streets, in the classrooms, or on social media, casual sexism has long been a staple of modern life.  It is a scourge we cannot deny.

So much so that there are numerous resources talking about how to respond to casual, everyday sexism like:

The point is, though, that casual sexism is just a symptom that speaks to the degree to which the disease has taken over the host — both in our society as a whole and in the individuals suffering the worst infections.  Sadly, the prognosis for Trump is dire; the infection is old and widespread:

Katherine Kimpel

Kate Kimpel is the Senior Editor of Shattering the Ceiling and is also an accomplished civil rights lawyer. She represents women and people of color in discrimination cases (and other kinds of employment and civil rights matters).  When not lawyering, she likely is bragging about her hound dog Ulysses, inventing cocktails to serve at her next dinner party, or convincing her husband to watch reruns of a Joss Whedon television show (any of them will do). 

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