Trump hired me as a powerful woman. I saw how sexism became his trademark
told a crowd of adoring supporters that Hillary Clinton was playing “the woman card”. He alleged that Clinton wouldn’t get many votes if she were a man: “I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote,” he said. Trump, of course, claims to be “great for women”. He has said this many times – and he mentions me as direct proof.n a victory speech on Tuesday, Donald Trump
In the 1980s, Donald Trump hired me to be vice-president of his company, in charge of the Trump Tower construction. I certainly benefited from being given the position, which was a daring move back then. There were no women in construction in those days. At the time, I applauded him for being forward-thinking.
But his rationale in hiring me was colored by his general opinion of the sexes. He said that men, in general, are better than women, but “a good woman is better than 10 good men”. He based this on the fact that women had to be smarter, try harder and work harder just to compete in a man’s world. I had proven to him that I had the markings of “a killer”, just the type to represent him on the construction site. I wonder if Trump still requires his female executives to be killers.
Trump has said some very sexist things in print and on camera about women. Does this reflect the real Donald Trump or, as he puts it, just entertainment? He chose to appear on the cover of Playboy magazine with a naked woman. He chose to be interviewed by Howard Stern where he discussed and rated women’s physical attributes. Trump used the print media to describe how he thought women wanted and expected to be treated poorly. How can he distance himself from his own words and acts?
The Trump I started working with in 1978 was very different from who he is today. He used to be deferential to women. He had tremendous respect for his mother and I think this influenced his treatment of women. He did not talk about them disparagingly. He did not discriminate against women in hiring.
When I worked there, Trump had several extremely strong, outspoken women whom he listened to. Even his wife, Ivana, was put in a position of great power and trust. But over the years, I saw him change. As Trump became more famous, his behavior towards women worsened. He started talking about movie stars who wanted to date him, even while he was still married.
When he put Ivana in charge of the Plaza Hotel, he said he would pay her in dresses, a remark that devalued her contribution and hurt her badly. When his breakup happened, he bragged about being with so many women, it distracted him from his work. He boasted about newspaper headlines detailing his sex life. I heard him talk, for the first time, about women’s bodies. Those sexist comments attributed to him recently come as no surprise. Neither do his remarks about Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s positions on the issues are anti-women on their face. He is opposed to reproductive freedom. This is a fundamental right and important to most women in the electorate. He is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, which has empowered women. He is opposed to raising the minimum wage, which affects women more than men. He is in favor of deporting undocumented migrants who have raised families in the United States. A cabinet full of women would not mitigate the impact of his stance on these matters.
Trump would be well served to listen to his advisers with regard to his treatment of Clinton and women’s issues. But he continues to show that he is not being “handled”, and it’s likely he will go on with this bluster and braggadocio. Trump has threatened to go after Clinton and no doubt, he will do it in a way that reeks of sexism. Trump probably thinks his comments about women and treatment of Hillary will win him more of the men’s vote. He will need as many as he can get if that’s true, because he won’t be getting many from women.
by Barbara Res