It’s a bad time to be a woman.
Well, it happened. Trump is President-elect.
After everyone got over the initial shock of the electing of an anti-politician to the most powerful position in the world, reality started to set in. While Republicans and Trump supporters rejoiced, all of the Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton were disheartened, and above all, scared.
Mothers had to tell their daughters Trump was President, and try to deal with all of the things this meant for them as young girls and women. If all of the sexist comments Trump had been spewing throughout his campaign were an indication on what his Presidency would be like, it doesn’t look good for women.
Here are some of the negative ways women could be impacted when Trump takes office next year…
1. Maternity leave
Trump does have a maternity leave policy in place which will guarantee six weeks paid maternity leave for mothers. While this is a positive thing, the scheme may exclude single mothers. The language in the policy details the payment would be for women whose ‘marriage is recognized under state law’.
2. Workplace sexual harassment
Trump has publicly stated if a woman is sexually harassed at work, he feels she has three options: take action within the company, leave while seeking retribution, or just quit. The problem with Trump’s outlook on sexual harassment – which he has also been accused of perpetrating himself – is that it puts all of the responsibility on the victim, and not on the perpetrator, which means we’re unlikely to see the quashing of victim-blaming mentality if this ideology permeates into his workplace legislation.
3. Abortion laws
Trump had said throughout his campaign that he would be placing more anti-abortion justices on the Supreme Court bench and had plans to either overturn Rowe vs Wade, or return control over abortion laws to each individual state. He also still believes in the myth of late-term abortions, wants to impose a ban on pregnancy termination past 20 weeks, and defund Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortions in these circumstances.
4. Wage equality
While Trump has said he supports wage equality in principle, it doesn’t look like he will be implementing any policies on a national level. He has boldly stated he supports pay based on merit, saying “if you start to say everybody gets equal pay, you get away from the whole American Dream”. Women currently earn around 83 cents for every dollar a man makes.
5. Access to birth control
Under Obamacare, women are entitled to one type of birth control at no out-of-pocket cost, but Trump has repeatedly said he would be repealing Obamacare as soon as he takes office. While he hasn’t addressed the birth control issue directly, vice President-elect Mike Pence has – saying he is motivated by “religious liberty” and wants to limit access to it. Since the election, Planned Parenthood have said they have seen a 900 per cent increase in IUD appointments, so women can still have birth control during Trump’s Presidency.
6. LGBTI rights
In his recent 60 Minutes interview, Trump said he was “fine” with marriage equality, stating the matter had been decided on in the Supreme Court and his own opinions on the matter were “irrelevant”. But he said this in order to ease the anxieties of LGBTI people – who actually have a lot to be fearful of. Even if Trump himself is ‘fine’ with marriage equality, vice President-elect Pence believes in ‘conversion therapy’ (the idea you can electrically shock the homosexuality out of people), has previously tried to block anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting LGBTI people in the workplace, and once wanted HIV/AIDS funding to go towards conversion therapy, not treatment.
7. Sexual assault in the military
Trump has not had a great history with respecting women in the military. In 2014, he said having women in the military was “bedlam” and caused confusion, and has also claimed sexual assault was to be “expected” if both women and men served together. Pence has also openly rejected the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, and doesn’t agree with gay people openly serving in the military.
8. Transgender rights
Trump supports North Carolina’s anti-trans law, which bans transgender women from using female bathrooms, has pledged to revoke the Obama administration’s advice that trans students can use bathrooms related to their gender identity in public schools, and said he wouldn’t enforce federal laws to ensure fair treatment of trans people.
9. Muslim women’s rights
In the days following Trump’s election, at least three groups – The Southern Poverty Law Center, Council of American-Islamic Relations, and Anti-Defamation League – found there had been a significant increase in hate-crime related incidents, particularly for Muslim women who were wearing headscarves. Trump has repeatedly said he wants to ban all Muslims from entering America and put existing Muslim Americans on a registry.
10. Sexual assault rhetoric
Trump’s repeated disrespectful comments about women suggest his Presidency could move to condone and excuse victim-blaming on a large scale. The President-elect was famously caught on tape bragging about getting away with sexual assault, and recently downplayed the severity of what he was saying, calling it “locker room talk“.
In his post-election 60 Minutes interview, Trump promised to deport at least three million people back to Mexico, which could have a hugely negative impact on the American economy. Over 1.3 million undocumented workers are employed in the hospitality industry, with 1.1 million in construction and 350,000 in agriculture. These three industries are currently reliant on undocumented workers. Removing these employees would likely have an instant and significant impact on businesses – causing a ripple effect through all aspects of American life.
Images via Shutterstock.
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