Trump’s comments should resonate with college women



Minal Patel

The outrageous sentence of Brock Turner shocked the nation in a way that set back sexual harassment cases at least a decade. With the feminist movement on the rise, there was a feeling that regressing in our country’s treatment of women would not only be unlikely but also ridiculous. However, the recent political election has proved that women continue to be challenged by men and environments that should be safe and not predatory. Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton “a nasty woman” presents the idea that such words are acceptable. If people who are looking to run the country are allowed to degrade their opponent through such derogatory remarks, what stops people like Brock Turner from raping women? A presidential candidate that is constantly able to ridicule and refer to women more as objects than people without any repercussions instills fear into women who have been in such situations and overconfidence in men who think that acting in such a way is acceptable. This way of thinking is ever present on college campuses where women continue to be victims of sexual harassment and men continue to face no repercussions. A step forward in terms of feminism is realizing that Trump’s words are never acceptable under any circumstances, and continuing to use them cultivates a world of future college students exactly like Brock Turner, who continue to think that their actions will be supported. Female college students are at risk with every word Trump says as he speaks about the ease with which he is able to sexually harass women. 

Institutions of learning cultivate future generations of students that are meant to challenge the past in an effort to move forward. This learning is achieved through participating in an active role and understanding of the circumstances that affect the world. An immense part of this year has been the 2016 election cycle. In the past month, Donald Trump has been exposed as someone who has no respect for women, claiming that he can treat them in anyway. He often uses the line “Do you know who I am?” as a way to constantly justify his inappropriate behavior. Brock Turner also justified his behavior in a similar way and he took no responsibility for his actions. These two men have shown the world that more than ever women and more specifically, those in college, are at a disadvantage for not being able to stand up for themselves in a world that supports people like Trump and Turner. 

Clinton was speaking about President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms when the words “such a nasty woman” left Trump’s mouth. Yes, it was insulting and unnecessary. However, more than anything Trump indicated that a woman’s ideas were not even worth debating when she could easily be degraded because of her gender. If even a prominent presidential candidate cannot speak her mind without being called physically nauseating, how can we create a college campus that respects women for more than just their bodies? Imagining a country under Trump’s presidency would mean picturing college campuses that stop progression towards an environment free of sexual harassment. College women would not only be unsafe, but also constantly challenged to prove themselves in educational settings. A woman should not be forced to constantly prove her intelligence because of how she looks. Clinton should not be challenged by lewd comments, but by insightful arguments. 

When looking at a world that continues to bolster Trump’s actions, how are women supposed to feel comfortable admitting the truth? As victims emerge in their factual accounts of Trump’s behavior towards them only recently, it is terrifying to think that there could be hundreds of women hiding in fear of speaking out against their attackers. Trump is more dangerous than Turner because he continues to remain at large in how he affects the youth of this country. Continuing to allow him to remain in the running for one of the most honorable positions in the United States is a way of saying that sexual harassment can be made light of and the women, who have been violated throughout the years, have absolutely no voice. The letter the Stanford victim read aloud to Turner was impactful but accepting the fact that the attacker received only a six months’ sentence is the same as allowing Trump to continue to speak disrespectfully about women and taking absolutely no action to change the future. These issues will continue to take place until a stern example is made. It can and should start with Trump. Every second Trump gets away with his words is a a second that we are saying that sexual harassment is something that can be apologized for, which whether it be a woman in college or a presidential election, is true under no circumstances.