By Hannah Shaffer
President Donald Trump is infamous for making comments about women that end up being hot topics for the media. His comments, and his actions, have been explicit and demeaning to many women.
Trump told the New York Times, “I have always treated women with great respect. And women will tell you that.” In the May 2016 article this was printed in, the New York Times analyzed Trump’s relationship with women when they are in private. They spoke to Rowanne Brewer, a former companion, who said Trump asked her to put on a swimsuit at a party even though she said she had no intention of swimming and referred to her as a “Trump Girl” after she put on a bikini.
President Trump has always enjoyed being around attractive women. In his senior yearbook at an all-men’s boarding school, Trump was given the title of Ladies’ Man. The New York Times asked Trump how he got this title and he told them: “I better not tell you – I’ll get myself in trouble.”
In 1997, while backstage at the Miss Universe pageant, Trump kissed 21-year-old Temple Taggart on the lips. She told the New York Times, “He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.'” He continued to kiss other contestants on the mouth.
According to the New York Times:
Mr. Trump frequently sought assurances — at times from strangers — that the women in his life were beautiful. During the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, he sat in the audience as his teenage daughter, Ivanka, helped to host the event from onstage. He turned to Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee, Miss Universe at the time, and asked for her opinion of his daughter’s body.
“ ‘Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?’ ” Ms. Lee recalled him saying. ‘I was like, ‘Really?’ That’s just weird. She was 16. That’s creepy.”
Trump’s comments were not always positive toward women. Alair A. Townsend, former deputy Mayor of New York City told the New York Times, “He was dismissive. It was always, ‘Hon,’ ‘Dear.’ Things he wouldn’t have said to a man. It was designed to make you feel small. And he did that repeatedly.”
In 2005, Access Hollywood recorded a conversation between Trump and Billy Bush on the set of Days of Our Lives about actress Arianne Zucker. The Washington Post released the tape during Trump’s 2016 presidential candidacy. Penn Bullock of The New York Times transcribed the conversation which included an infamous phrase that was widely discussed when it was revealed during the campaign 11 years later.
Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.
Trump: Oh, it looks good.
Trump made a video apology for the conversation that came out in 2017 stating: “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
Trump has continued talking dismissively to women in the past several years, particularly throughout his candidacy and presidency thus far. He has been known to refer to reporters who he does not particularly like in offensive ways, especially women.
During a campaign stop, Donald Trump called out Reporter Katy Tur of NBC News for “not listening” to him, according to the Washington Post. Tur was not a well-known reporter when Trump called her out, but since he told her she wasn’t listening to him as she tweeted what he said, Tur has become a regular on MSNBC and a semi-regular on the “Today” show, “NBC Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”
The New York Times compiled a history of “insults and tasteless comments” that Trump has said in the past several months, beginning with his comment about Megyn Kelly, a Fox journalist, who he implied was questioning him forcefully during a debate because she was menstruating. He said, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her ‘wherever.'”
It seems that no one is immune from Trump’s comments. During the primary campaign, Trump commented his opinion on the appearance of Carly Fiorina, a fellow Republican candidate. He said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that she was too ugly to be president:
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
It is not only Trump’s comments toward women that have caused controversy, however. In October 2016, two women came forward to the media after hearing his comments during debates about how he would never disrespect a woman and told the New York Times that Trump had touched them inappropriately.
Jessica Leeds, now 74, said that more than 30 years ago she was seated on an airplane next to Trump. She said that around three quarters of an hour after takeoff Trump lifted the armrest between them and touched her inappropriately. She fled to the back of the plane, where she was able to hide from him for the remainder of the flight.
Rachel Crooks had an experience more like that of the Miss Universe contestants than that of Leeds. She was a 22-year-old receptionist in Trump Tower when Trump kissed her on the cheeks and then the mouth.
Many of the women whom have been treated inappropriately by Donald Trump have reported that they were reluctant to speak about the experiences. This is why Crooks said it is important to speak of it.
“People should know,” she told the New York Times. “This behavior is pervasive and it is real.”
In November 2017, 10 women who have accused Trump of inappropriate behavior, including Crooks, Leeds, and Taggart, began pursuing a lawsuit against Trump for the instances of assault.
Attorney Gloria Allred told the New York Times that the purpose of this lawsuit is not the money but the opportunity to get the truth out there.