Back in early August, James Hamblin in The Atlantic identified Donald Trump as the climax of American masculinity.
That referred to his aggressive style. Now Paul McGeough’s article ‘Formal’ vulgarian Donald Trump evokes Mad Men, Playboy and the Rat Pack looks at the origins of his attitude to women.
- Concerning the group’s reputation for womanizing and heavy drinking, Joey Bishop stated in a 1998 interview: “I never saw Frank, Dean, Sammy or Peter drunk during performances. That was only a gag! And do you believe these guys had to chase broads? They had to chase ’em away!”
Mad Men was a period TV series set in the 1960s running from 2007-2015. I gather it did much to reinforce male attitudes tending to objectify women which persisted through to this century.
I haven’t studied him closely, but he has the reputation of being ‘involved’ with many of the ‘playmates’ that appeared in Playboy, a coterie of young attractive women were continually moving in and out of playboy mansion and he often dated several women at once.
Essentially Trump is stuck in bad attitudes to women he picked up growing up in the 1950s and early 1960s. There are a lot of highly quotable bits in McGeough’s article, but he ends with Leslie Bennetts, at Vanity Fair:
“As the possessor of a penis, celebrity and a fortune, Trump has never questioned his right to inspect and rank women in terms of his own interest in having sex with them. For decades his objectification of women has remained as consistent as the ugliness of his values; as a self-appointed judge of female worth, he and his beauty pageants and reality shows have perpetuated the misogynistic standards that nullify the value of any woman who is not very young, very thin and conventionally attractive.
“But women are becoming ever less compliant – and female insurrection is particularly upsetting to men who are already anxious about their ability to maintain their authority.”
McGeough says Bill Clinton is roughly the same age as Trump, and was basically as a Southern boy, an Elvis wannabe.
There may be some of that, but I’d point out that Hillary, who knows him fairly well, from the Heffernan piece:
- said her husband’s sexual compulsions stemmed from a childhood pressure to please both his grandmother and his mother.
Heffernan is clearly not convinced. I followed the Monica Lewinsky saga and its aftermath at the time. I’m willing to believe that Bill had a significant personality disorder.
There’s no doubt that people were hurt and will never be the same.
Personality disorders can be treated. Such a fundamental change can be prompted by a significant life experience with high emotional content, such as public shaming while president, impeachment, and being made to sleep on the couch for a time.
I don’t think it’s fair to make facile judgements about how Hillary acted through the whole business. Any assessment would require in-depth research to understand how it was to walk in her shoes. However, I can’t see any residues that impair her capacity to be president.
Had Americans known the full deal on Bill at the time, I doubt he would have become president. Trump can be assessed by the words coming out of his own mouth, and now 10 women who have come forward.
His crude and bumbling advances don’t seem to have gotten him very far. However, the fact that he dismisses the 2005 tape as “locker room talk” and therefore OK has been too much for over 50 senior Republicans.
Leslie Bennett thinks Election 2016 will be a referendum on male entitlement. Americans will have to think carefully about what electing Trump would say about their values.
an 86 percent chance for [Clinton] to win the election according to our polls-only model, and an 83 percent chance per our polls-plus model.
He explains that he gives more weight than other pollsters to a larger than usual number of undecided voters at this stage of the cycle, and the third candidate factor.
- Democrat Clinton holds an 11-point lead over Republican Trump among likely voters, 48 percent to 37 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 7 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent.
Elsewhere, Jennifer Mercieca says Trump uses rhetoric generally to portray people as things. Women are just the latest.
Brian McNair says Trump has moved the goalposts of what is acceptable behaviour in a presidential candidate so far that we have no language adequate to critique or refute him. But the talk of groping women has probably done him in. Look forward now to Michelle Obama vs Donald Trump Jr in 2024 for the next big fight for the soul of America.
- The younger [Trump] males – probably not daughter Ivanka, whom he talks about as a “piece of ass” with his “locker-room” cronies – in his family will replace the old man with even more virulently fascistic appeals to the mob, and do so with much greater sophistication and self-control than the raging bull has managed.
McNair reminds us that a woman known as “Jane Doe” is a plaintiff in a New York federal civil court case where she is accusing Donald Trump of raping her in the ‘90s when she was 13 years old. She claims Trump threatened her and her family with death if she continued. The case comes to court on December 16.
Geoff Beattie unpacks Trump’s body language in a fascinating post. Those hands help him more than you’d think, for example implying he has a precise plan when he doesn’t. In the second debate:
- As he went on the attack in the debate, his use of beat gestures duly increased. He chopped, he pointed, he sliced. Trump was now fully armed. He heckled, he interrupted, he glowered as Clinton talked, issuing a nonverbal running commentary on what she was saying.
All in all, this was a bully’s performance, a physical attempt to dominate Clinton and manipulate our interpretation of her words.
Meanwhile Clinton awaits what Wikileaks may yet dump on her. It might not matter very much, because Trump has made himself the central issue.