I am a woman.
I am the ‘other’ 50% of the world’s population.
I am part of the remaining, part of the one that follows the first and included within the rest that appears to make the whole.
I would assume many people would agree that women are the ‘other’ in comparison to men, but as definitions quite rightly articulate ‘other’ implies something of less importance. For centuries the word ‘other’ has been used to define the native, the foreigner, the migrant or anything that goes against what is believed to be the norm. Essentially, white and male. So I do not use the word ‘other’ light-heartedly. I do not make up the ‘other’, I do not wish to be seen as following the first, and I do not wish to be considered secondary. Secondary to whom? Men?
I am a human, I am part of humanity, and that is what makes me whole.
I am not an American, I cannot vote or have my say on who can or cannot be the president but as a woman I can highlight the recent comments made by Donald Trump as perpetuating the ideological view of women as the other, as inferior, as a piece of meat, as capricious or as anything but human. I do understand we say things that can get misconstrued or seen out of context sometimes, yet when listening to Trump’s comment I hear no jovial intonation, nothing out of context and I certainly do not hear what he considers ‘locker room banter’. This man, this father, of women may I add, and this husband is running for presidency. Trump suggests when you are a star you can do anything; this certainly seems to be the case within politics. As a star, Trump has the trump card over Hillary, and as a star he can do whatever he wants with it. Before this presidential campaign he assumed grabbing women by the “pussy” was a given right to fame. Now though, Trump is not just grabbing women, he is grabbing men, towns, cities and states because as a star you can do anything. As a star, people are forgetting, white-washing, justifying his actions, his words as another headline, as another political story. It is another political headline but this time it is sexual politics.
Every day women all over the world are feeling degraded, objectified and treated unequally to men not only in politics as it would appear with in the Trump and Hillary case, but in the media, in the club, in the office, in the gym, in the kitchen and practically everywhere in some way women are still seen as the other. Trump’s comments are not only worrisome due to his political position within America and to an even greater extent the world but, because these comments are still surfacing and still being justified as ‘locker room banter’ a safe place. It is not excusable to talk about women in this way, period. We are not the other, we are the same, we are human, so when you comment on grabbing women by the pussy, or suggesting she asked for it, or that she cannot do something because of her sex what you are actually stating is – I cannot do it! I am the other. Remember today, tomorrow and days to come men and women need each other in continuing our species, we should work together not against, we should strive for equality not disparity. Remember.
By Stephanie Dugan