Swanson: Trump Says He’s Not a Feminist – What Does This Mean for Women’s Rights in America?


By Gavin Swanson, Opinion Writer

“No, I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist. That would be, maybe, going too far,” said President Trump in an interview with Piers Morgan on Super Bowl Sunday. The question on Trump’s status on gender politics was brought up in the context of the Women’s March held this year for the second year in a row in protest against Donald Trump. “You’re always going to have marches. The march, I guess, was a lot smaller than it was last year.”

So what does this mean for women in America? Does this really change anything? I’m sure that to many of his critics, this doesn’t come across as a very big surprise. Even if readers don’t wholeheartedly believe in the 19 sexual assault allegations he is battling at the moment, it’s hard to deny other actions that incriminate his lack of consideration towards women on a personal basis, like how he would enter dressing rooms at Miss Universe while contestants were changing or the Access Hollywood tapes made famous during the election. Trump has a long and complicated history with women, and it’s not a very pretty or friendly one. But does his personal life affect his policy or his job as chief enforcer of the country?

“I’m for women. I’m for men. I’m for everyone. I think people have to go out and they have to win, and women are doing great, and I’m happy about that,” is what he said in his Piers Morgan interview. Okay. That’s a passable quote. So even if he does secretly hate women, he’s not going to go out and say it. As far as policy goes, Trump really hasn’t made any big pushes since his inauguration last year, so to get his position and how he might influence women’s rights in the future we have to look towards what he said before getting elected.

Last year Trump came out in support of outlawing abortion, but creating exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Fortunately for pro-choicers, Trump hasn’t pushed for the prohibition of abortion yet and most likely will not act on it unless legislation pushes something through. In regards to paid maternity leave Trump has expressed that the idea of it is very burdensome on the business owner who has to support the paid leave, so not exactly the most supportive there for women. Finally, on the contention of the wage gap, Trump was publicly called out and questioned on his position in a Q&A session in 2015 where he famously remarked, “You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job.”

So as far as his words go, he pretty much echoes the sentiments of most GOP politicians when it comes to these issues. As far as his actions go, it doesn’t seem like that women’s rights are really at the forefront, and it seems that as far as feminists and proponents for women’s rights go that might be a good thing. All-in-all the effect that this statement in this interview is that it will be brought up if one of Trump’s defenders tries to crown him as a champion of women. Then again it’s not like you needed this interview to prove that.