Its Time to Start Taking Sexism Seriously as a Political Force
Its Time to Start Taking Sexism Seriously as a Political Force Sady Doyle of Elle magazine recently wrote an article about sexism and politics. She asserts that Julian Assange (editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks), Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump are all misogynists united by that coherent, mutually shared political philosophy. All three have made openly sexist and/or anti-feminist statements; Trump and Putin have both moved to pass those beliefs into law; Trump and Assange both stand accused of sexually assaulting women. The issue, she says, is that sexism is still seen mostly as a matter of personality, not politics, even as sexism continues to operate with the power of a political force that can change the world.
Assange’s misogyny can are demonstrated in his lest that favorable twitter mentions of feminism. Most of these tweets are directly related to Assange’s rape case and frame women’s rights as inherently conservative and destructive.
Putin’s governing style has been described as “patriarchal nationalism,” in which homophobia and sexism, and the resulting confinement of women to traditional heteronormative roles, is used to constitute the national identity by actively framing women’s empowerment as a threat to national security.
About the misogyny of President-elect Trump the idea that women are pieces of meat to be acquired and violated may be the only belief of Trump’s that has never changed. In several polls, hostile sexism was found to be a better predictor of Trump support than economic concerns, and roughly as good as actual party identification.
By failing to account for misogyny we somehow missed the rise of one of the most damaging international alliances in the 2016 election. Doyle insists that moving forward this serve as a wake-up call: a sign to listen to women early, and take their concerns seriously, before a powerful man moves on from harming individual women and focuses on harming the future and the world.