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Stir It Up: Women take the lead in fighting Trump’s misogynist campaign



Hillary Clinton is wiping up the floor with Donald Trump's big, blond mass of hair.

Not only is Clinton going to be our first woman president, but it is women in general who are playing the biggest roles in collectively taking down a presidential candidate who is a misogynist, racist xenophobe.

Women have ganged up to kick Donald Trump's ass.

When Trump stood at the Republican convention and said "I alone" can save you from the myriad of dangers he has defined the United States as facing, he cast his approach to the campaign. It's Trump against the world. There are very few surrogates out there willing to speak for him other than the terribly flawed Chris Christie (who may well have his day in court over Bridgegate) and Rudy Giuliani.

Clinton, who embraced the campaign theme "Stronger Together," is playing with a full deck of operatives that includes a sitting and a past president, and Al Gore, who should have been president. Not to mention Bernie Sanders, an opponent who chose to pull together with Clinton.

Even with those high-profile men on her side, Clinton has made this a women's campaign.

Earlier this year it was the tag team of Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren taking on Trump's Twitter campaign. At a time when Trump's midnight tweets controlled the campaign narrative, Warren effectively trolled him and took that advantage away. While Republicans claimed that Clinton was overplaying the women's card, she embraced it at the Democratic convention. A spine-tingling video with the image of Clinton breaking the glass ceiling to the presidency highlighted a tumultuous week.

Michelle Obama and Chelsea Clinton stepped forward to press their candidate's case at the convention and on the campaign trail. While Trump blustered about a Gold Star mother and a former Miss Universe, the highest-profile women who spoke for him on news shows were the paid staffers Katrina Pierson and Kellyanne Conway, both of whom exercised the most extreme mental contortions to explain or excuse Trump's boorish behavior.

Meanwhile, Trump's wife, Melania, stayed in the shadows after plagiarizing the first lady's speech at the Republican convention, and when questions came up about how her own immigration process. His daughter, Ivanka, seems poised and well-spoken, but she has not been a commanding voice in the campaign.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte declared Trump a role model for children and doubled down on the sentiment. But after the Access Hollywood audio and video of Trump discussing sexual assault, Ayotte stepped back and claimed that she misspoke when she endorsed Trump. Even women who want to help Trump have to backtrack now. What other choice do they have when Trump's son, Donald Jr., says: "Women who can't handle harassment don't belong in the workplace."

Do we tell men they have to put up with harassment just to have a job?

But it is in the wake of the infamous taped outing of Trump the predator that women have stepped out to take him down. Women who allege that Trump assaulted them in the manner he describes on tape have been coming out in a steady stream over the past week. And it is these women who are reaching women across the nation and ripping the last threads of support from Trump, because what they say rings true to their experiences.

"At this point it has just exploded," says Millie Hall, president of the Metro Detroit Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women. "Some women did not want to come forward and speak until this broke. It's good for women who have been silent about these things that have gone one in their personal lives; this has been an issue so long.

"Now that we're standing together on this issue, it's just going to make a difference."

That is why Trump's accusers speak so loudly to women; many have experienced the same. One friend told me that the accusations remind her of things that have happened to her. Things she said she has never even told her husband, things that she told herself that she was going to have to be strong about and just get over.

Trump's response to his Access Hollywood comments becoming public was to attempt to out former President Bill Clinton as a sexual predator by bringing his accusers to the second debate with candidate Clinton. I'm not sure what the goal of their "press conference" was, but if it was to take Hillary down, it didn't work.

Since then the revelations from women who claim he harassed them has dominated the news. Even as I write this, another woman has come forward.

"He's saying all these women are lying," says Victoria Suber, a local attorney and new mother. "Historically when you have multiple women coming out sharing a story about a man harassing them, they were telling the truth ... I can't even fathom a world where he is president. I think there are a lot of misogynists in the world and Donald Trump appeals to them. Men are less likely to speak against him and women have a real motivation to do that. I think that's why women are speaking out more and are more angered about that. Being a parent adds an extra layer to that. It just takes it to another level."

Yes, there are a lot of guys around who use women. Bill Clinton is one. I don't give him any pass on his own sins. It's another indicator of how deep and widespread sexual predators are in our culture. Just to put Trump, Bill Clinton, and former Fox News czar Roger Ailes together is a chilling notion for women. But when it comes to this fall's vote, Trump's strategy is off target — Bill Clinton is not on the ballot. Hillary Clinton is running for president and I'm just fine with that, especially when you consider the alternative.

"He's such a foul individual," Hall says of Trump. "I don't respect a man who is such a womanizer."

As a candidate, Trump stands alone, with little in the way of structure, party support or surrogates — especially of the female persuasion — to speak for him. Even among the billionaire class that he so ardently places himself with, he doesn't seem to be well liked. Warren Buffett, a billionaire among billionaires, put Trump on the line about taxes last week after the candidate claimed that not paying taxes made him "smart."

Trump wants to be thought of as smart, rich, and a leader but comes off as an authoritarian. He wants to be sexy, but can only manage misogynistic assault.

Hillary Clinton knows and shows that we're stronger together, and the campaign fight has turned into a ladies' moment. Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren lead with the ethical high ground. Chelsea Clinton is a much more visible and engaging ambassador than Ivanka Trump. Donna Brazile and Nancy Pelosi fill in the guard of strong women in politics who are taking on the fight. And the women who claim that Trump assaulted them — Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, Kristin Anderson, Summer Zervos, Temple Taggart, Cassandra Searles, Natasha Stoynoff — have stepped up to finger the culprit and reclaim their dignity.

The ladies are gathering together, stronger, to kick Trump's ass!


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