Let’s Talk About The Bus, Haiti, and Male Entitlement.
5 min read
by Emma Glassman-Hughes | October 14, 2016
In the wake of the leaked footage of Donald Trump’s one-man, toxic-masculine, self-combustion show on an Access Hollywood bus with his locker room pal Billy Bush, this country has been rattled. Now that he has admitted to sexual assault, left-wingers are even more appalled by the man, while right-wingers have dropped off of Trump’s campaign like flies, aside from a few who think it’s best to stay. Among the many reasons to disendorse (new word, we’re rolling with it!) Donald Trump for president is the video proof of his highly unpresidential character, exhibiting the ways that he feels entitled to a woman’s body.
Image by Gage Skidmore
Wait… Right-wingers are denouncing the Trump campaign for the way he speaks about his ownership of and power over women’s bodies? Hmmm, very curious as this is something I thought they would all support, considering the state of reproductive justice and politics today. (Is she gonna?? Yes she is.) Instead of grabbing women by the pussy--an image now burned into our skulls courtesy of Trump--these politicians like to grab women by the uterus. The word is less vulgar but the effect is basically the same: men dictating what happens to a woman’s body. Non-doctor males who think they have jurisdiction over any woman’s healthcare are just as insulting and predatory as Donald Trump, just as disinterested in a woman’s autonomy as Donald Trump, and just as guilty of performing male entitlement as Donald Trump. Buuuuut when the bodily autonomy of their own wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters is threatened by the rhetoric of a man more powerful than they, these politicians rush to decry the behavior in a big, hypocritical dance they all do, pretending that women’s safety and protection has always topped their to-do lists--right above cutting welfare to poor mothers, jeopardizing affordable healthcare, and stopping at the store to replenish their Wheaties supply.
But wait, aren’t we glad that these politicians are speaking out against Donald Trump at all? Excellent question! Yes, I am thrilled any time a major public figure comes out against this man, and I’m glad that it is this specific case of misogyny that has seemed to fuel mass disgust; however, it’s important to remember where these politicians stand on issues that disproportionately affect women, as well as to recognize that their criticism of Trump isn’t about being pro-woman--it’s just another political move. Oo bla dee, oo bla da, strife goes on, amirite y’all?
Okay, okay you caught me orange-handed: I have been giving Drumpf a lot of attention lately. More than he deserves, honestly. And, for those of us who are voting in this upcoming election, it’s easy to get so mixed up in the news about this man that we forget about the continued existence of the rest of the world! Woof. Our bad.
While all of this mic leakage news has been leaking all over mainstream media coverage, Hurricane Matthew absolutely devastated Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries (but also a country with a rich history of rebellion and self-reliance--that is, up until more modern times, a la U.S. intervention). Before we get to that, let’s talk numbers: Hurricane Matthew has resulted in the loss of an estimated 1,000+ lives, as well as incomparable damage to infrastructure that was still on shaky ground after the earthquake in 2010. A week after the storm, the Prime Minister is warning about a cholera outbreak and a possible famine due to lack of resources. These numbers would mean disaster in any part of the world, but Haiti is a particularly interesting case to exemplify--far too late, by the way--just how badly climate change (created and sustained by wealthier countries, of course) is going to affect the poorest countries before it affects anywhere else.
Also: hi! Why is Haiti so poor, you ask? Here’s a little U.S. foreign policy 101 (hint hint, male entitlement can also extend to international governing): for our own economic advancement, U.S. policymakers have historically used our international power to pressure leaders in “developing” countries into a whole host of different political acts, ranging from ousting democratically elected leaders who threaten U.S. sovereignty, to dropping tariffs on U.S. imports in order to flood markets with U.S. goods and drown out international competitors. In Haiti, the latter was the case, especially during Bill Clinton’s presidency in the 90s. At this time, Clinton forced Haiti to drop tariffs on subsidized U.S. rice imports, which subsequently wiped out Haitian rice farming--a previously booming industry--and has made Haiti’s struggle for self-sufficiency exponentially more challenging. Clinton has apologized for his lack of leadership here, but it’s clear that Haiti is still suffering as a result. Ah, the global economy.
As the Caribbean state runs out of food and medical supplies, donations are in high demand--just be cautious of where you send funds to, considering some enterprises are less responsible with your cash than others. Here are some places to donate to that are not the Red Cross: The Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees fund, Sakala, and Doctors Without Borders to name a few. Check out this page for more general information about staying informed about Haiti.
Bonus round: can we talk about how Bruno Mars’s lyric “I’m a dangerous man with some money in my pocket / all these pretty girls around me and they’re waking up the rocket” from his deliciously catchy new hit “24K Magic” is basically Trump’s hot mic mixup in fewer words? Slap on a gratuitous “pussy” or two and you’ve got yourself a regular Access Hollywood bus disaster; it’s just that this time, the rape culture is more palatable because we’re hearing it on the radio. *sad face* How many times do we have to say it? Men with power and/or money shouldn’t be threats to women, and they certainly shouldn’t feel a heightened sense of entitlement to a woman’s body ~regardless~ of socioeconomic status. Ugh, America, you’re grounded. Go to your room. Love, mom.
...still, this song is, like, alarmingly catchy. Brb dancing off into the sunset
by Emma Glassman-Hughes