If you want to truly understand how the worst men on earth view women, consider this: when Donald Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels, he clearly had no problem with what she did for a living. But now that the affair has indirectly exposed a Trump bribery scandal involving multibillion dollar corporations and foreign oligarchs, Trump has his allies out there attacking Daniels based on what she does for a living.
Rudy Giuliani, who now inexplicably yet somehow fittingly has become the official voice for Donald Trump in his criminal scandals, asserted this week that Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti is a “pimp.” In so doing, he was unmistakably calling Daniels a prostitute. That’s not what she does for a living. She’s an adult film actress, which is a perfectly legal career. Even if she were a prostitute, who cares? I don’t know of any hookers or porn stars who have committed treason, like Trump has.
Yet Rudy thinks we should believe Trump, even though he’s literally a traitor, because the woman involved in this story has sex for a living. Or because she’s dared to have sex at all. Or just because she’s a woman. These types of men don’t even seem to think they need a justification to hate women. They think it’s their birthright. In fact, when Trump supporters respond to my political articles with insults, they most often hit me with the kinds of gender slurs that are usually aimed at women. It’s as if they’re trying to say to me, “You’re no better than a woman.” It’s a reminder of just how pervasive sexism still is. It also reminds me that, no matter how much abuse I take from Trump supporters, female political journalists surely take a hundred times more abuse from them.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that, with all his other defenses failing, Donald Trump and his goons are resorting to directly invoking what this has really been about all along: sexism. They’ve run out of other ways to try to deflect from this bribery scandal, so now they’re just going to call Daniels a “whore” and see if that sticks. They’re not even attacking Avenatti on his merits. They’re attacking him for daring to take on a female porn star as a client. Or maybe they’re just attacking him for taking on a strong woman as a client.
Whenever I write about sexism, I manage to get it at least a little bit wrong, because I’m a man and I’ve never experienced one minute of being on the wrong end of it. I’m writing about something I’ve only ever observed, and never lived. I’m probably screwing this up a little right now, and some of the women reading this will write in and let me know why, and they’ll be doing me a favor. But when women are under sexist attack, halfway decent guys like me have a responsibility to speak up about it the best we can. So let me say this:
I don’t know all that much about Stormy Daniels. She seems smart and honest. She appears to have succeeded in her chosen profession. She’s willing to take on a traitorous illegitimate President, even though she knew she’d face a horrifying level of sexism in response. Donald Trump and his henchmen have been not-so-subtly employing the “Don’t believe her, she’s a woman” tactic all along, and now that they’re really losing, they’re being as blatant about it as possible. So in case I haven’t been sufficiently clear up to this point, I’m with Stormy Daniels. She’s the hero when it comes to the Trump-Daniels scandal. I’m with her.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report