On Monday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said President Donald Trump should resign over the multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment against him, and called for Congress to launch an investigation of the president.
To date, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. By his own admission, Trump says women have to be treated "like shit" and has bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy" and being able to "do anything" to them because he's famous.
Tuesday morning, Trump lashed out at the allegations and at Gillibrand — and the words he chose to describe the Democratic senator from New York are telling.
First, the president called the accusations against him "false" and "fabricated," and denied knowing or even having met the women who have gone on the record about their claims. (One of Trump's accusers, Summer Zervos, was on The Apprentice with Trump.)
Then, Trump launched intro a diatribe against Gillibrand, claiming she "begged" him for campaign donations and called her "used."
Many picked up on Trump's not-at-all subtle coded language against Gillibrand as overtly sexual and intentionally demeaning.
"Outrageous, but not surprising. Donald Trump’s bullying and coded language are no match for women like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who are fighting for our values and holding this incredibly incompetent president accountable for his dangerous agenda," Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, said in statement in response to Trump's comments.
Sexist and degrading language like Trump used is pervasive in American culture, and perpetuates violence and oppression against women. Studies have shown that misogynistic language also has negative effects on women's mental health such as depression and low self-esteem.
“Perceptions of sexism or discrimination lead women to doubt their qualifications to enter the political arena,”Jennifer Lawless, a professor of government at American University, told the Atlantic last year before the election. “I worry that the way Donald Trump has behaved will stick around in women’s minds and further perpetuate the idea that women can’t be successful if they run for office.”
Gillibrand responded to Trump's attack by saying she will not be silenced.
This story was originally published December 12, 2017 at 10:59 am. It has since been updated.
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