Political Correctness, Donald Trump, and Fat Bashing

What a Load of CrapIn case you missed it, during the recent Republican Presidential Debate, Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly asked candidate Donald Trump

“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals,’

At which point Donald interrupted to say

Only Rosie O’Donnell

For reasons passing my understanding, the crowd cracked up. Because when you are a Presidential candidate who is being specific about which woman you are calling a fat pig, dog, slob, and disgusting animal, it’s suddenly hilarious?

Kelly continued:

Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice it would be a ‘pretty picture’ to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president? And how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the ‘war on women’?

Donald went right for the common excuse of “Political Correctness”

I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct,” he said. “I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.

When people use the term “Politically Correct” is this way, it’s typically an attempt to justify their choice to treat people – usually oppressed people – without basic human respect, thus adding to the group’s oppression. As if treating people with respect is somehow a massive waste of time and just too difficult to even contemplate. In a fabulous piece about this for Vox, Amanda Taub wrote:

“political correctness” isn’t a real thing. Rather, the term is a sort of catchall charge that’s used against people who ask for more sensitivity to a particular cause than we’re willing to give — a way to dismiss issues as frivolous in order to justify ignoring them. It’s a way to say that their concerns don’t deserve to be voiced, much less addressed.

The fact that this is bullshit can be easily illustrated by replacing “political correctness” with the concept of treating people with respect. Let’s illustrate using Donald’s quote:

I think the big problem this country has is treating people with respect. So many people have pointed out to me that my treatment of people is not respectful, and I don’t frankly have time for treating people with respect. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time to treat people with respect either.

Because as President, Donald would make sure that we live in a country where we are all clear that calling women (including and especially Rosie O’Donnell) fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals is a time-saver that will really help our country be its best. (By the way, after the debate Trump claimed that he never said those things. It will likely not come as a surprise that he was lying.)

The idea that it’s completely acceptable, even Presidential, to get cheap laughs through sexism and sizeism,  and then (when people point out how it is disrespectful and oppressive) trying to make the problem the people pointing it out – rather than the people who are being disrespectful, oppressive, bullies – is very seriously screwed up.  I think that fighting against the concept of “Political Correctness” as a justification for oppression is an important of part of the overall fight against oppression.  I think that we do have time to treat people with respect, and I think that doing so it part of what would really make our country its best.

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28 thoughts on “Political Correctness, Donald Trump, and Fat Bashing

  1. My jaw literally dropped when I heard him make that speech. I keep thinking “My opinion of this man COULDN’T get any lower.” and then he says something even more disgusting and proves me wrong.

    I told my husband I want to move to Canada if that guy gets elected – he just laughed. He has no idea that I’m NOT JOKING. I don’t want to live in a country stupid enough to elect such a complete and utter slime.

    1. I used to date a guy from the US (i’m in the UK) and we had serious problems when I refused point blank to move to the US if a republican came to power or if my bodily autonomy was going to be interefered with by laws and regulations.

      I’m in a relationship with a UK guy now to frequently talks to me about instances like this one and how disgusting he finds it. We get some of it here, but it’s not as bad as Donald Trump! In fact, if Alan Sugar had said what Donald Trump said in the UK Apprentice, he’d he up for sexual assault/harrassment charges.

    2. Unfortunately it’s nowhere NEAR as easy as saying “I don’t want to live here.” You have to get a residency permit/visa for the new country. If you can get a Canadian firm to hire you and do the paperwork, by all means go for it. If you’re near retirement age (as I am) and hoping to retire to another country yourself, you’ll find that Canada and the UK have both discontinued their visas for self-supporting retirees as of a few years ago. Used to be, you could move there if you could just prove a certain amount of income and your own health insurance. Now, you have to have some huge amount of money (I think it’s a million pounds, for the UK, if I’m remembering right) and get an investor’s visa.

      Mexico still has very welcoming visa requirements, and my husband and I are still considering moving there. It’s sad to be at a point where the drug lords worry us less than the government of our own country, but that’s where we are.

      1. I should have said — the POSSIBLE FUTURE government of my country. I like Obama, and I will support Hillary. But I’m terrified about the other possibilities.

      2. Another thing to consider as an ex-pat (I am one), is the remainder of your life having to file taxes in two countries, reporting to the U.S. all your foreign bank accounts, even if it’s just your regular bank account you use to live on, and the ever more onerous regulations that you must ensure you get right, else face fines because you cannot prove a mistake was not an intentional attempt to evade taxes. Because the U.S. is one of only two nations that tax based on citizenship rather than residency. (The other nation is Eritrea, which does not have the international leverage to enforce such a thing. However, China is looking into doing the same to its citizens overseas.) Dual filing did not used to be so difficult, but it has now become so complicated, even the tax experts are finding it increasingly problematic to help overseas Americans correctly file their taxes. And foreign banks, now required to report to the U.S. or else face sanctions, are now beginning to refuse to open bank accounts for Americans. My husband and I are likely to move back to the U.S. in the near future, else face the very real possibility of having to give up citizenship in order to not inadvertently break tax laws. A hugely heart-wrenching decision that would be.

        Moving to another country is definitely not as easy as simply moving between states, and even marrying a citizen of that country is not a guarantee. It’s a tough world we live in, and getting tougher all the time, in some respects. My hope is we can work toward NOT having Donald Trump types in office, and that we can work toward sparing our future generations from taxation without representation.

    3. Don’t come here, we’ve got our own probs! Health insurance is pretty impossible to get if you’re fat, and doctors don’t listen to you, plus we’re in the process of becoming Stalin’s Russia. Those provinces that have had NDP had no economic growth, and rising debt (it’s going to happen in AB now, we are no longer the strongest province). Plus I don’t know how anti-American the minority parties are, so they may kick you out faster. It’s been taking longer and longer to allow Americans (or pretty much anyone else) to immigrate here, so many loopholes.

      1. Mitch- Because 44 years if PC rule and cuts, lies and stealing was SO much better. It is only 4 years, plus there is no proof that the NDP will fail. All other provinces are not Alberta, period. Any premier that tells anyone to look in the mirror while stealing money from the province, has issues. Did you know the PCs shredded documents rather then handing them over when the NDP took over? That tells me they are still hiding crap. So until they prove otherwise I am 100% with the NPD government. Next we need to get Harper outta office. Shouldn’t be hard since his running in Calgary is now NDP terf.

        Anyway Stacy, Canada isn’t easy to immigrate to, but it isn’t impossible either. Just need to have the same address for three years and either become a landed immigratent or take the Canadian citizen test.

        1. Yes, but to stay for more than six months out of a year you must have a residency visa. To get one of those, you pretty much need already to have been hired for a job. You can’t just move north of the border and stay.

          If you can get a Canadian employer to offer you a job, you’re probably fine. If you’re trying to go on your own, it is pretty much impossible now unless you’re insanely rich (the super-rich seem to be able to get expedited visas pretty much anywhere).

          1. I am Canadian so I know this. I already said it is not easy, hell as a Canadian it isn’t easy finding a job, I should know. I am coming up a year unemployed.

            You don’t need to tell me the Canadian immigration visa qualifications since it is pretty much the same everywhere. I would need to do the same if I was going to another country.

            1. I did not mean to offend you. My comments were intended to be in response to the OP”s remark about wanting to move to Canada if Trump’s elected, so my comments were really addressed to Americans thinking about emigrating. An awful lot of Americans have the (completely false) idea that we can move anywhere we want to — pick a country first, move there, and then find work. We can’t. To get a legal visa in the EU or Canada or NZ or Australia, Americans have to find a job first and then move. And if you’re coming up for retirement (as I am), there is no legal way to move to most of those countries. But 90 percent of the Americans I mention this to, don’t believe me. I think it’s ingrained in us that we SHOULD be able to move anywhere we like and work out the details once we’re there. But we can’t, at least not legally.

              Anyway, I wan’t trying to tell you about how hard it is to find work in Canada — I was trying to tell other Americans about how very difficult it is for us to emigrate anywhere. (Canadians, New Zealanders, and Australians have a much easier time emigrating to the UK, but that’s a whole other issue.) None of this is really pertinent to this blog, anyway, so I thank Ragen for her patience!

              1. I’m sorry for my response, I just get tired of people trying to tell me about my own country when they don’t even know what year confederation was.

                Also since it is an election year for Canada finding a job is going to very hard since I swear every 4 years Canada goes into a recession due to no one knowing what is happening with our government. So the next year, year and a half is going to be tough luck for jobs.

    4. Wait until after October 19th (our federal election date) to decide if you wanna move here. Currently, the conservative ass we have in power is just as much of a bully as Trump, just not as overt.

  2. His comments about women are vile, and both his comments about Rosie and about Megyn were par for his course. I am appalled at all of it. However, what also gets my goat in addition, is that his comment about Rosie got a laugh, and his comment about Megyn triggered all sorts of fairly universal outrage. Well, not from his supporters, but you know what I mean. His attitudes and behaviors sicken me, but what truly frightens me even more is the group who laughed at the Rosie jab. I may never have to deal with Trump (if he’s elected, that’s another story), but the goons who laughed and backslapped over the insult to Rosie, well those are the people we meet every day, the ones who have that mindset and are just looking for an acceptable arena to show it off. THEY terrify me.

    1. YES!!! THIS!! This terrifies me, too. There are way too many people out there who feel actual anger toward women who are too uppity and not hot enough for them. The fact that the crowd ADORED his joke is the scariest thing about this situation.

      1. I’m so glad I didn’t see that.

        It’s true, though, that too many feminists don’t understand that fat acceptance IS a feminist issue!

        It’s just like when you go to a “body positive”” blog, and get the smack-down because you don’t support dieting, over-exercising, and other forms of “loving your body thin.”

        No. Don’t tell me you love your body as it is right now, if you’re actively starving your body to try to change your body to something it isn’t right now.

        And feminists, don’t tell me that THAT oppressed class deserves respect, but MY oppressed class does not. Don’t tell me that women (who fit the mold) deserve respect, but women (who don’t fit the mold) don’t deserve respect. See what I did there, with the parentheses? SEE? That’s what these “feminists” are doing. Really!

        OK, I’m gonna nope away now.

        1. Body positivity = diet culture switching tactics now that the romanticized abuse The Biggest Loser exploited is starting to get more public scrutiny, the Good Weight Cop to Screamy McInsulty’s Bad Weight Cop. Alas, painting a smiley face on your ass doesn’t take the stink out of it; it’s still the same old ineffectual crap.

    2. Yes. This. It’s okay to level a dismissive, dehumanizing insult to a woman whose size or appearance is approved of by fewer people, but not to a woman whose size or appearance meets people’s arbitrary standards. Too many people have a cutoff point beyond which it’s perfectly okay to treat human beings like shit–“You must be THIS thin to be treated like a person”. Shame on all of them.

  3. I abhor how “political correctness” has become the buzzword for people to justify treating others like crap. It’s “cool and edgy” to just say what you want without regard for others’ feelings, but in reality it just shows lack of empathy and caring.

  4. Seen this today: Trump: ‘I am a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win’

    So that’s the secret of his success- whining. Gee, he has no idea how pathetic he is. Real winners exhibit skill and knowledge and manage their people’s strengths to achieve the win (think sports coaches). But nope, not this guy. He’s just a spoiled brat.

    Yep, a bratty little whiner is exactly what we need in the White House. Yessiree, bob!

    In the unlikely event Trump makes it into the White House- he’d embarrass us with every female head of state and spouses of heads of state. Just hope these women have the presence of mind to slap him upside the head.

    Is it okay to judge his daughters by how he judges women? Gee, ya think he’d be okay with this?

    I don’t think the guy understands that once in the White House, while he can say whatever he wishes, he does have to follow the Constitution. And for every dumbass executive order he issues, the legal means to stop the enforcement of executive order will be close behind. Stymied at every turn he’ll be. Sure, he can veto bills from Congress – and they can override him. He’ll quickly discover that his management methods are useless and he’s ineffective (and they say Jimmy Carter was a bad president…). Too bad ya can’t impeach for being an a$$hole.

  5. “Is it okay to judge his daughters by how he judges women? Gee, ya think he’d be okay with this?”

    Apparently so, since he once made the truly creepy comment that his daughter Ivanka was “hot” and said that if she weren’t his daughter, he’d probably be dating her. Apparently he can *only* see women, INCLUDING his own daughters, in terms of “hotness”.

  6. I totally agree with Regan’s comments and all of the statements that appeared after her blog. Personally I am a great fan of Paul Krugman,
    a Nobel Prize winning Economist, who writes a column on Monday and Friday in the New York Times. He often sees things from a different perspective. Recently he discussed Donald Trump and said suprisingly, that he doesn’t know if Trump will win and its unimportant.
    If you study the “platforms” of both the first and second tier candidates
    and eliminate the acting and bluster etc. they all have similar programs
    with different emphasis and approches to the same ends, and some are much worse(if possible) than Trump. The real problem is the Republican party which has gone off its rocker, and has become so
    ultra conservative that it has loss touch with with the overwelming majority of americans.
    He pointed out that in the last “debate” no candidate mentioned global warming at all. Al Sharpton pointed out that the debate fell on the 50th
    anniversery of the voting rights act but no candidate in either tier
    mentioned it. It was a show. I wouldn’t be surprised if Megan Kelly was coached to throw Donald a “hard” question for appearances.
    All the candidates will put down women and deny them their rights.
    Even the female candidate, she is just there to pull in some women voters and they might make her a vice presidential candidate to counter Hillary and the negative publicity. Paul Krugman felt and I
    agree, that if any Republican becomes President it will be a disaster for the country.

  7. Ha! I love your idea of replacing “political correctness” with “treating people with respect.” I wish internet explorer (or whatever it’s called now in windows 10) had a feature to automatically do that. It would make a lot of comment sections more truthful.

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