It’s no surprise there’s a misogynist in chief in the White House. Nor is it a surprise that Republican leaders and sectors of the ruling class can’t contain their glee about pro-corporate, anti-worker policies and legislation the Trump administration is pushing through.
They are cheering the administration’s all-out assault on rights won by people’s movements over generations, including those won by women for equality.
Now two White House staff members, Rob Porter, staff secretary, and David Sorenson, a speechwriter, have been accused of domestic abuse by their former spouses. The president praised and defended these two, calling for “due process” for them.
Where is due process for the women they assaulted and for the dozens of women who charge that Trump is guilty of sexual misconduct? Trump, who calls those women “liars,” has a history of standing with abusers.
Who in the White House knew about these abusers and when did they know? Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly, a racist and anti-immigrant bigot, supposedly one of “the adults in the room,” knew. The FBI reported on both men’s histories months ago. Yet no one in the White House — where policies are created that profoundly affect women — denounced this violence against women.
The strength and scope of the #MeToo Movement and the Time’s Up campaign forced Porter and Sorenson to resign. This movement of courageous women has swept the country like a tidal wave and brought down powerful men for workplace sexual misconduct. The resignations also show the strength of anti-Trump marches by millions of women over the last two years.
Capitalism breeds misogyny
By attacking the #MeToo Movement and defending women’s abusers, Trump and his staff are signaling approval of the degradation, sexual harassment and physical assault of women. Their attitudes reflect how deeply misogyny and patriarchy are embedded within capitalist society.
The government is the executive committee of the wealthy ruling class, which owns the corporations and banks. The chief of the executive branch is in the White House, as a representative of the capitalists and a promoter of their reactionary views. Trump, his aides and his cronies spout and reinforce racism, sexism and hostility to workers, immigrants, LGBT and gender nonconforming people, and those with disabilities. This backward ideology is spread by politicians and the corporate media, especially the right-wing press.
By promoting sexism, the White House is aiding and abetting business owners who profit from maintaining the sexist gender pay gap. The current administration reversed the prior administration’s rule aimed at closing that gap.
While sexual harassment is used to dominate and intimidate women workers, their economic exploitation is a cornerstone of capitalism. Women overall are paid 80 percent of what men earn, but even more exploited are African-American, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant and disabled women who are paid even less.
Trump, Kelly and the entire cabal in the White House should resign. However, even that won’t eliminate patriarchal misogyny. Nor would it eliminate racism, xenophobia, homophobia or classism, all intrinsic to capitalism. The super-rich seek to divide and control workers by every means they can — and now they are intensifying their reactionary attacks to try to save their declining system.
It is crucial to continue to build the fightback power that the #MeToo Movement and the women’s marches have shown. As women continue their fightback, it is imperative that they show solidarity with and join those in struggle against racism and police violence, deportation of immigrants and attacks on the LGBTQ community, workers and disabled people — to push back the entire reactionary Trump agenda.
A united fightback is what’s needed to oust this rotten capitalist system that sows bigotry, inequality and exploitation.