On July 13th President Donald Trump commented the First Lady of France was in “great shape...beautiful,” during an internationally covered exchange with President Macron of France. This meeting was live-streamed on the official Facebook page of the French Government and made its way to widespread international media.
The President’s remarks are part of a demonstrated pattern of behavior that objectifies, marginalizes, and subverts women as individuals and as a group. These comments are inappropriate and undermine American leadership, and his credibility at home and abroad. President Trump’s behavior sets a standard of acceptability that cannot be tolerated. Furthermore, his decision to treat women as sexual objects and pieces of property perpetuate antiquated and dangerous ideas on the role of women- and of men, in our society.
As President of the United States, President Trump carries the honor and responsibility of representing and advocating for the interests of the United States and its citizens. At a time of unparalleled uncertainty, the United States is best served by having the best voices heard on the challenges we face. Toxic, anti-women and anti-equity sentiments are long embedded in our culture and create real barriers for women- particularly in defense, national security, and diplomacy. Our Commander in Chief must actively engage to break down these barriers and ensure the best and brightest are working together to create a more just, free, and equitable world.