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Trump the woman-hater



Trump’s nasty video of him hitting Hillary Clinton in the head with a bad golf shot is indication enough that he’s a sick misogynist, and so are his followers.

What is wrong with that man? It’s easy enough to call him a “misogynist.” I do it all the time. The word means, literally, “hatred of women, especially by a man.” It comes from the Greek miso (hatred) and the root -gyny, a term for “women” that finds itself in such words as “gynecology” and “androgyne.”  

The word “misogyny’ dates back to the early 17th century, when it was used by a man named Joseph Swetnam, who is usually described as a “pamphleteer,” which was that era’s version of a talk show radio host (pamphlets being the only form of mass communication, although one might also say pamphlets were the Twitter of Swetnam’s day). Swetnam was a woman hater, and his most famous pamphlet was a screed he entitled The Arraignment of Lewde, idle, forward, and unconstant women: Or, the vanitie of them, choose you whether” (1615).

Just why Swetnam hated women is unclear, although according to scholars, “portrayals of women as monstrous in the English popular press of the second half of the seventeenth century” were common.

Swetnam’s rage against women burns through the printed page of his tract. He begins his piece with the reason for writing it: I being in a great choler against some women (I mean more than one); and so in the rough of my fury, taking my pen in hand…to entangle myself with such vermin.” He knows he is about to say awful things, and asks straight-out for some sympathy. If I be too earnest, bear with me a little,” he pleads, and then proceeds to his bill of particulars against women. “Many [are] so bad, that in my conceit if I should speak the worst that I know by some women, I should make their ears glow that hears me, and my tongue would blister to report it.”

How bad are women? They are “two-headed Dogs,” “adders, serpents and snakes,” “scorpions,” “lascivious and crafty, whorish, thievish, and knavish.” Much of the pamphlet is a dire warning against marriage; it is not known if Swetnam himself ever married, although he was on record as having a daughter, Elizabeth, about whom nothing is known except the date of her death: 1626, five years after her father’s own demise. Swetnam’s pamphlet was a best-seller by the standards of the time: there were ten editions by 1637, with new editions appearing through at least 1807, leading an American scholar to conclude, “The lasting power of Swetnam’s pamphlet in the fast moving world of print indicates the fact it must have carried some resonance with its readers.”

Indeed, it carries resonance today in Trump Land. In their own ways, Trump’s Breitbart audience is the modern-day incarnation of Joseph Swetnam. I myself cannot fathom misogyny, except to understand that it is a mental illness, possibly a serious one, and I’m certain that Donald Trump suffers from it. Misogyny would explain his devaluing of women, exemplified by his comment about grabbing pussies in the Access Hollywood tape.

I’m sure Trump has told himself all his adult life he loves women, although what that really means is that, like Don Juan, he enjoys the hunt for sexual conquests. No sane, respectful man treats women (or anyone else) with such disdain and contempt. What is easier to understand is why Trump feels free to put his misogyny on full public display. It’s because he knows that millions of other American men (and some women) are also misogynists, and will not only not be appalled by Trump’s behavior, but will actually celebrate it, since it lets them off the hook. If the President of the United States, possibly the most famous and successful person in the world, can hate women, then I can too!

Well, there’s something seriously wrong with Trump, and there’s something seriously wrong with anyone who’s amused by his video of slicing a golf ball into Hillary Clinton’s skull. In my humble opinion, reasons for invoking the 25th Amendment are mounting every day.




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