Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Donald Trump and the Politics of Bathroom Humor

Women urinate and have periods.  So what else is new?   Coming out of two of the presidential debates this year the biggest headlines are that Trump accuses Fox’s Megyn Kelly of having her period as the reason she asked him tough questions, and that it is disgusting that Hillary Clinton had to urinate during a break in the most recent Democratic debate.  Something is wrong with politics and the media if these are the stories that capture our attention.
If there was any doubt that Donald Trump deserves to win the misogynist male pig of the year award that ended with his comments making fun of Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break during last Saturday night’s presidential debate.  They come after jokes about Carly Fiorina’s physical appearance and  accusations about Megyn Kelly’s mood and menstrual cycle. The reality is that bodily functions exist and that there are some differences between men and women.  Adults accept this and move on.
In the course of a work day adults accept the reality that we need to take bathroom breaks.  Studies have documented shortages of bathrooms for women in many public places and that in many cases it takes women more time to do their business than men.  Adults also recognize that  women can get pregnant and for good or bad (or sexist reasons) are assigned more domestic and child rearing duties than men and therefore should not be discriminated against for that.  Trump’s campaign is replete with dragging out double standards and sexism.  I suspect it is no surprise he was once a big supporter of the Miss America pageant; it appears that the only part of women he likes are their T & A.
But also there is something just sophomoric and juvenile about these comments.  In fact, that is the campaign he is running–sophomoric.  His campaign is about name calling, making fun of others, and jeering at bodily functions and people’s physical looks.  On the stump he also swears, challenges the masculinity of others, and picking on others.  All that is missing are groin kicks and fart jokes and what you would have is Tom Bernard’s KQRS morning show.  Its staple humor for a quarter century has been this type of insulting puny humor.  Perhaps that is acceptable conduct for a morning show seeking to appeal to the lowest common denominator to achieve ratings, but it should not be the basis of a political campaign.  Yet if the polls are to be believed, 39% of those who claim to be Republicans (32% of adults X 39% = 8%) seem to like Trump’s views.  
Whether this support is for Trump the candidate or Trump comedy road show it is not yet clear.  But the major point here is that Trump is using the same type of insults and jokes that make  make adolescents to help fuel his campaign popularity.  Yes it gets him in the news but should we not hope that this country is better than that? Is the key to making America great against reside in making fun of the women who pee?  I hope not.

No comments:

Post a Comment