Chris Christie promises to "beat" Hillary Clinton's "rear end" at a campaign rally; Donald Trump calls Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly a "bimbo" and Ted Cruz promises Hillary "a spanking." These vulgar, sexist attacks against women are relentless and they WILL affect the lives of every American woman.
Sadly, it's been completely okay in the 2016 presidential campaign for Republican candidates to repeatedly verbally assault women. Now, 158.6 American million women better get prepared to be treated with disrespect if one of these candidates is elected. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Chris Christie have savagely attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, GOP candidate Carly Fiorina, anchor Megyn Kelly and numerous other female reporters covering the election. And they have suffered no consequences for their behavior.
While Trump has taken some minimal heat for his vicious verbal attacks on women, he's still the Republican frontrunner. His supporters are as enthusiastic as ever. So are the fans of Ted Cruz and Chris Christie. Christie, in fact, was the latest to cross a misogynistic and creepily sexual line during an appearance in New Hampshire on Feb. 3. That was where he promised a small, cheering crowd that he would "beat" Hillary Clinton's "rear end". "You know why?" he asked his audience. "She's been running away from federal prosecutors for the last six months. Man, she sees a federal prosecutor on the stage, I'll beat her rear end on that stage." That's right. He thinks he'll score points with voters because he promises that he'll "beat" the "rear end" of Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, First Lady and Senator from New York.
Well, if that's the treatment that a highly prominent and accomplished American woman will get from 'President' Chris Christie, then what can the rest of us hope for? Certainly, we'll get nothing better from a 'President' Donald Trump. Trump has infamously called Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly a "bimbo", "dopey" and "a lightweight reporter".
He accused her of having "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" after she asked him about insulting remarks that he had made against women verbally and on Twitter during the first Republican debate. Yes, she had the gall to question him about how he would defend himself against Hillary Clinton in the presidential race when she pointed out his track record of making misogynistic comments against many women.
Trump has also famously called comedian Rosie O'Donnell a "degenerate", a "slob" and "pig". He told New York Times columnist Gail Collins that she had "the face of a dog" and he also told a female lawyer taking a deposition from him in a recent court case that she was "disgusting" for taking a pre-arranged break to pump breast milk.
American women can look forward to a 'President' Trump who gets grossed out by the physical functions of women's bodies, whether it's breast-feeding, menstruating or going to the bathroom. Who can forget his tirade over Hillary Clinton taking a bathroom break during a recent Democratic debate? "I know where she went, it's disgusting. I don't want to talk about it. No, it's too disgusting." Evidently, American men don't have bodily functions, and therefore avoid being labeled as "disgusting" by Trump.
Even the sole female GOP presidential contender hasn't been immune to the candidates' war on women. Carly Fiorina, by no means a champion of women's rights (she's opposed to pay equity and abortions except for rape or incest), has been slagged by Trump for her appearance. "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?" he told Rolling Stone magazine, describing Fiorina, in an interview. American women, watch out if you're not a 10. President Trump will call you out for it. Even "Heidi Klum. Sadly, she's no longer a 10," he announced in August while on the campaign trail.
If you are female and you dare to question Trump on his comments or policies, he is fast and nasty on the attack. He's called New York Times reporters Amy Chozick and Maggie Haberman "third-rate reporters", highly respected NPR reporter Cokie Roberts "kooky", CNN reporter Sara Murray "absolutely terrible" and CNN host Alisyn Camerota a "disaster".
America's 104 female congresswomen had better get their body armor on if Trump, Cruz, or Christie is elected, and they don't always agree with their sexist president. Ted Cruz wants American voters to give Hillary Clinton "a spanking". What will he want to do to non-compliant Congresswomen or the millions of female citizens who disagree with his policies? Spank us all?!
This is no joke, for any and all American women. We've fought hard to be accepted as equals in both our career and family lives. Despite that, we still only earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. We've fought to not be sexually harassed at work or by men we are dating. But if presidential candidates can savagely verbally attack women with no fear of punishment from GOP voters, then it's open season on all women, by all men.
If Donald Trump can justify the insults he's flung at women as a necessary part of the battle against "political correctness", then all men will have a "valid" excuse to do it. "I don't, frankly, have time for total political correctness," he told Megyn Kelly when she asked him about calling women "fat pigs" and other names.
In recent years, if a man publicly threatened to beat a female colleague's "rear end", he could lose his job for sexually harassing her. But if Chris Christie is making that behavior acceptable again, then all American women will bear the consequences. I understand that many women have been shrugging off this barrage of anti-female bullying and assume that it won't affect them. But if one of these guys is our next president, our lives could change in huge ways, and not for the better.