While Donald Trump has claimed that "no one respects women more" than him, his words have repeatedly pointed towards the polar opposite. Trump has called women "fat slobs, dogs, and pigs" and showed close to no remorse for making each of these comments. He speaks of his respect for women in the same night he addresses his female opponent as a "nasty woman" on live television during a presidential debate. What part of this comment embodies respect?
For many young girls and women who are still impressionable, this can be a sensitive and even traumatising experience. There is the constant pressure to be what men want you to be and nothing more than that, and hearing a famous billionaire regard you with comparisons to animals does not help. As the current wave of feminism pushes away the idea that young girls are beautiful and strong the way that they are, this message is consistently clouded with the constant remarks from Trump that take over virtually any news channel.
This power in mainstream media is Trump's greatest tool in his misogyny. Trump is telling women across the nation that in order to be a woman that is respected we must be beautiful, and not in the way that we see ourselves, but in the way men believe the term beautiful to mean.
This means unrealistic body standards, from our chests to the thinness of our legs, to the formation of our faces. And even if we have reached this standard of beauty imposed on us, you are still nothing more than a "beautiful piece of a**". You are nothing more than merely a woman, an object, or something pretty to look at (like a building).
Aside from these comments, there is an even more serious issue at hand. In a recent exposure of a conversation between Donald Trump and Billy Bush, we hear Donald Trump bragging about how his "star" status allows him to kiss women without consent, and grab them by the genitals.
Trump is telling women across the nation that in order to be a woman that is respected we must be beautiful
In a time where rape culture is prevalent and becoming much more publicly addressed, it does not help to hear a man of such popularity spreading a message of acceptance towards assault. Not only do these words echo a lack of respect for women, but they also send out a sense of tolerance for young boys in America to speak about women in this way.
When we teach men that it is okay to disrespect women, that it's simply "locker room talk," we are telling them that it is excusable to sexually harass and assault women. These are not meaningless words that carry no weight; they embody a principle that men will carry into real life circumstances.
He isn't simply joking around; he is telling the stories of real women who have been sexually harassed in real life. This isn't just a circumstance of "boys will be boys", but rather a situation in which an abuser must take responsibility for his words and his actions. Assuming that conversations about sexual assault are just "manly conversations," is to assume that sexual assault is a part of being a man.
The fact that Donald Trump remains the nominated republican for the United States presidency (and is supported by millions for it) gives each and every word he spews some power. We all embody the principles we have learned through society; and with people such as Donald Trump being portrayed as the ideal, we are teaching young boys that misogyny is presidential, and teaching young girls that disrespect is expected.
Alexis Isabel Moncada is a teen activist who created the blog Feminist Culture to give a platform to young people to discuss gender equality, race, sexuality and global issues.