Franklin Foer, writing in Slate, not only examines Donald Trump‘s history of misogyny, he names it as Trump’s organizing principal, his “one core belief,” as Foer puts it.
Foer starts off, psychoanalyst style, by looking at how Trump’s childhood, and his childhood antics, influenced the adult he turned out to be. What’s striking is how little daylight there is between Trump the child and Trump the adult. It’s like a real-life version of Big, but instead of dancing across the giant piano keys at FAO Schwarz, child-in-adult-clothing Trump instead turns to antics like these:
Humiliating women by decrying their ugliness is an almost recreational pastime for Trump. When the New York Times columnist Gail Collins described him as a “financially embittered thousandaire,” he sent her a copy of the column with her picture circled. “The Face of a Dog!” he scrawled over her visage. This is the tack he took with Carly Fiorina, when he described her facial appearance as essentially disqualifying her from the presidency. It’s the method he’s used to denounce Cher, Bette Midler, Angelina Jolie, and Rosie O’Donnell—“fat ass,” “slob, “extremely unattractive,” etc.—when they had the temerity to criticize him.
And that is far from the worst of the incidents Foer details.
The bully is winning. The bully is not supposed to win. This isn’t how the script goes. The bully is supposed to return to his twenty year reunion as a balding, beer-bellied, can’t-keep-down-a-job shadow of his former self. But this isn’t a movie, and it looks like, so far, a significant swath of the public has a taste for real-life, consequence-free expressions of a gross misogynist that it doesn’t for its pat movie plots and their happy, good-guy-wins endings.