Gender and the illusion of progression in the Trump era

I was planning on writing my reflections on gender since its women’s month but then I watched the awkward handshake moment between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel and I had a, oh here we go moment.

I can’t believe that in the past I could not fathom criticizing an American president too much, they were God-like to me. I held them in such high regard but since Trump came to power only a few months ago, I have written a dozen articles criticizing him. Me, criticizing an American presidency after literally worshipping it for the past eight years is the definition of fucked up.  That’s how much disrespect and fucked-upness Trump has brought into the oval office – that even little Edinah from Zimbabwe has to write critical pieces about the President of the most powerful country on earth.Donald Trump wonders why people call him petty, a bully and unfit for office but then he goes and does sh*t like this and of course if it walks like a duck then quack quack quack. A whole president sulking in front of the whole world and refusing a traditional handshake which is not a gesture of liking the other person but really a symbol of diplomacy between the countries they represent because what, the world is not sucking up to his racist and isolationist views…?

Maybe Trump doesn’t understand that he does not own or rule America, he was elected to represent America and its interests. He has an obligation to the American people to continue the longstanding legacy of diplomacy and good international relations between his country and its traditional allies. He owes them that, I think. Not everything has to be about spiting Hillary’s supporters. You won already so just do your job.

He seems to be devoid of the knowledge of diplomacy or the importance of international relations. When I studied my course in international law, the first question I had to answer was what I associated international law with and my answer was diplomatic relations; the idea that country leaders have to exercise their power within the rule of law – both domestic and international – is something I am interested in as I come from a country where there is no rule of law. But I think in addition to the legal law there is also need for moral law. Just having good morals and being a decent human being. And playing fair – so if you have grievances say them but don’t act like what a kid is expected to do when another kid snatches a lollipop out of their mouth – sulking, pulling faces and all.

I also found myself thinking long and hard whether if it were a man Trump would have behaved in the same way. Remember this is a man that is on tape demeaning women with his own words, celebrating their objectification and encouraging sexual harassment. His cringeworthy attitude towards Merkel may not be only merely political. It may also be because of his views of women’s capabilities outside of his own daughter Ivanka.

Merkel is not the only leader that speaks in a positive way about immigration – and has of late admitted the challenges that come with that- no she is not but she is the only one that he sat side by side menacingly and refusing a handshake. Like seriously, who does that.

And then he complains about disrespect as if someone brought it onto him instead of realizing he has done that all by himself.

Maybe someone needs to tell him that Angela Merkel is one of the most intelligent people on earth. She is a research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry. One of the smartest women you could ever sit side by side with, Donald.

In conclusion, the thing I had originally planned to write on is that, in developed countries, even though there are laws that guarantee women’s rights and respect, it is however not a guarantee that people’s – both men and women – attitudes towards women are as they should be. There are still archaic ways and attitudes held against women. The idea that women should know their place and if they speak out the wrath against them will be twice as much as a man would get under the same circumstance is proof of our need to keep striving to be better.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s