We at the Prole Star were concerned that women in general may not actually take all that much comfort in this idea, that the maximum possible respect they could expect from other people may be epitomised by the blatant misogyny of one orange-haired (alleged) serial sex offender. In our editorial following Mr Trump’s shocking - yet simultaneously entirely predictable - electoral victory on November 8th, we attempted to reassure women by asserting our strong belief that his claim that nobody respects women more than he does was not entirely truthful. In fact, we believe that there are a great many people who have demonstrated greater respect for women than Donald Trump.
For the first mensiversary of America’s disastrous presidential election, I’ve tried to put together a list of some of them. Naturally, this can only be a partial list. I am just one man, and this is just one space-time continuum, and there are only so many working hours available to even the most diligent of satirists. Even if I had the time to put together a full list of all the people with more respect for women than Donald Trump, you (not to mention your entire universe) would presumably have died long before you finished reading it. Instead then, let me just list some of the prominent people than whom Donald Trump may be considered worse on the issue of respecting women.
For starters, about half the global population is female, and, generally, women tend to have plenty of respect for women. Not all of them do, obviously. You do occasionally hear from the odd questionable individual of the female variety. Take American political commentator Ann Coulter, for example, who has argued against women’s right to vote, and criticised single women for wanting to be taken care of and provided for, looking “at the government as their husbands”. Or for an example a little closer to home, consider Church of England Synod member, and co-founder/CEO of Christian Concern, Andrea Williams, who has written repeatedly of her commitment to ending women’s right to choose, across the UK, and described abortion as “even more dangerous” than strokes, diabetes, and cancer. But generally speaking, I would argue women respect women more than Trump does. After all, how often do you hear women making comments quite like these?
A lot of people were outraged earlier this year when it was announced that Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono, would be the first man honoured at Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year” awards. Writing in the Guardian, Nell Frizzell denounced the decision, arguing that “I know the notion of what even constitutes ‘a woman’ is up for debate – and rightly so – but I think we can probably all agree that a cisgendered, self-identifying man is a fair way off the mark.”
It’s not as crazy as it sounds, though. As Philip DeFranco explains, “unlike a lot of the clickbait headlines, Bono was not crowned ‘Woman of the Year’, but he did receive a Glamour ‘Women of the Year’ award for ‘Best Man’.” Glamour themselves explained that while they haven’t previously named a Man of the Year, “on the grounds that men aren't exactly hurting for awards in this world… when a major male rock star who could do anything at all with his life decides to focus on the rights of women and girls worldwide… that’s worth celebrating.” They make the case that most women want and need men on their side, and commend Bono on his creation of the Poverty Is Sexist campaign, which specifically aims to help the poorest women in the world.
Donald Trump’s predecessor in the role of President of the Great North American Loony Bin that just elected Donald Trump, Mr Obama has shown greater respect for women throughout his career. For one thing, to my knowledge, there is not a single publicly available audio recording of Mr Obama’s bragging about sexually assaulting anybody. In these non-existent recordings, Mr Obama also doesn’t brag about cheating – or, attempting to cheat, at any rate – on his wife. That would be the wife whom he didn’t try to pressure into posing nude in Playboy. And not only has Mr Obama not done any of these things, he’s actually also done nice, respectful things, like fighting for equal pay, and improving their access to healthcare.
He spoke affectionately of his daughters, saying of the idea that his daughters wouldn’t have the same opportunities as somebody’s sons “well that’s unacceptable”. Donald Trump also speaks affectionately of his daughter, Ivanka, saying “she’s 6 feet tall; she’s got the best body” and that if she weren’t his daughter “perhaps I’d be dating her”. If anybody is in any doubt over who respects women more, the current President of the United States, or the new President-Elect, I’d argue they need only wake up watch this video comparing some of their respective statements.
4) David Cameron
A surprising entry at number four the Prole Star being an unashamedly left-leaning outlet. I don’t think anyone here would dispute that this man has committed terrible atrocities against women and men alike, presiding for six years over a government whose austerity programme has hit out time and time again at the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Needless to say, I’m definitely not a fan of Mr Cameron. Nonetheless, compared with Mr Trump, he does appear to have shown greater respect for women, as, at least to my knowledge, he has never been accused of sexually assaulting anything other than a pig.
And no, I’m not talking about Rosie O’Donnell, whom Mr Trump so respectfully declared “a fat pig”, or former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom Trump allegedly nicknamed “Miss Piggy”, in what he no doubt considers a “tremendous” display of respect. I’m talking about a literal farm animal, and Mr Cameron’s alleged victim would appear to have been dead at the time. (Not that any of this makes his behaviour acceptable, but it would be harder to classify these particular deviant sexual proclivities as misogynistic.)
5) Chris Evans & Jeremy Renner
Avengers stars Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner provoked outrage in an interview with Digital Spy last year, when they referred to Scarlett Johansson’s character, Black Widow, as “a slut” and “a complete whore”. Their comments were condemned by many people as sexist and disrespectful. Others defended them as a harmless joke in reaction to a question they perceived as stupid, about fans wanting Black Widow to be in a relationship with both men’s characters. This prompted a debate about everyday sexist language and whether or not jokes like these are okay. Notably, though, even critics of Evans and Renner’s comments were able to see that no harm was intended, and not see the men as inherently sexist.
The pair later issued an apology, with Evans stating "we answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize." (Admittedly, Mr Trump also issued his own apology for his offensive comments, attributing them to “locker room talk”, but there are still come crucial differences, not least the fact that we have yet to see either Chris Evans or Jeremy Renner boasting of grabbing anybody by the pussy or forcibly kissing them without consent.) Their behaviour is viewed as atypical – and that’s pretty important. The lesson in all this? You don’t have to be perfect to be more respectful than Donald Trump.
6) Andy Gray & Richard Keys
Scottish former national and international footballer Andy Gray was a very popular and respected football pundit for Sky Sports.. Until 2011, when he was sacked for “unacceptable and offensive behaviour” following a major sexism scandal. Mr Gray initially got into bother when he and co-presenter Richard Keys were recorded during transmission of a Premier League football match, criticising the female assistant referee, Sian Massey, and complaining that women shouldn’t be doing the job because they don’t understand the offside rule. Mr Gray also described Wendy Toms, the first female assistant referee in Premier League history, as “fucking hopeless as well”.
Needless to say, these comments didn’t go down too well, and the pair were disciplined by Sky, and removed from the line-up for a subsequent match. However, after footage emerged of Mr Gray making further sexist and sexually suggestive remarks towards female colleagues, he was sacked by Sky altogether. Mr Keys subsequently resigned. In essence, both men lost their jobs as sports presenters, because sexism is apparently not acceptable for such a position, although it seems perfectly fine for the most powerful job in the world.
After later returning to British TV as a pundit for BT Sport in 2014, Gray was further embarrassed when footage emerged of him and Keys directing a sexist chant (“get your tits out for the lads”) at Sky Sports reporter Clare Tomlinson. Certainly not respectful behaviour. But again, and I can’t stress this enough, Donald Trump claimed he just starts kissing women without even waiting, and that he can do whatever he wants to them because he’s a star. To my knowledge, Andy Gray and Richard Keys have not done this.
The lesson in all this? You can be pretty dismissive and disrespectful while still being more respectful than Donald Trump.
7) Peter Sutcliffe
If this name doesn’t sound familiar, you may recognise the nickname given to him by the press – the Yorkshire Ripper. Maybe this one’s debatable. Unlike the previous entries on this list, Sutcliffe actually did assault women – and, notably, he went further and actually killed them. Sutcliffe was convicted in 1981 of the murder of 13 women, as well as the attempted murder of 7 others, and in recent years evidence has suggested there may be many more victims than previously known. Clearly, to attribute respect for women to this man, even above the low bar set by Donald Trump, would take a pretty twisted leap of logic. As I don’t usually make such leaps myself, allow me to borrow one from the American right wing.
According to Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk famous for refusing to grant marriage licences to same-sex couples (also known as “her job”), she doesn’t hate anybody, has several gay friends, but is compelled to do what God wants her to do. Davis, and several others, such as Republican former congresswoman Michelle Bachman, believe that religious convictions should be accommodated, and to do otherwise would be intolerant, even when those religious convictions require them to discriminate against (or, “disrespect”, if you will) the LGBT community. As Davis put it, “I have not judged anybody” yet she refuses to respect the rights of gay couples, “on God’s authority”.
If you haven’t figured out where I’m going with this, you probably don’t know Peter Sutcliffe’s justification for his (depraved) actions. At trial, he claimed to have been acting under explicit orders from God himself, who gave Sutcliffe the “mission” to “get rid of” prostitutes. Incidentally, Sutcliffe was also diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, so one could (I wouldn’t, but he did) make the case for diminished responsibility on the grounds of his (mental) health. This is in stark contrast to Mr Trump, who, according to his doctor, in a totally-not-fake-at-all letter released by the Trump campaign, is in perfect health and “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”.
(I get that this one’s totally debatable, and will leave it to you to make up your own minds. Admittedly, between Trump and Sutcliffe, the respect for women scores could be more of a tie.)