Twitter has never been very friendly to the women’s sports world. Every time SportsCenter or ESPN throws the WNBA a bone, the trolls come out in force to the tune of “not a sport” or “stay in the kitchen.” Female reporters such as Sarah Spain face daily ridicule and harassment from all sorts of shady characters and virtually anonymous cowards. But on the morning of November 9th, Twitter was all set to blow up for a more positive reason.
The USA was all set to elect its first female President, marking the ultimate triumph of America’s feminist movement. It was sure to be a day to inspire young girls and athletes everywhere that women can shatter the glass ceiling in America and fulfill their dreams – even the dream of the Oval Office. But, of course, the women’s sports world woke up to something else that morning.
Hilary Clinton, despite a huge lead in the polls, did not win the election. The office, instead, was awarded to Republican challenger Donald Trump. The Republican party has always been the less liked of the two major parties by feminists. But Trump took things much further than any previous candidate.
This is a man who brags about kissing and groping women, to the tune of “when you’re a star they let you do it.” A man who walks into the dressing room at the Miss America Pageant and brags “And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I get away with things like that.” (Trump is married of course). And most frightening of all for the women’s sports world is Trump’s new chief strategist Steve Bannon’s vicious hatred of everything related to feminism.
It seems certain that much of the progress women’s sports has made since Title IX will be undone the next four years. All because of Trump. Just who is Trump?
Some have said he is sexist, racist, xenophobic. But above all else, Trump is one thing that explains all his other “isms” and problems: he is rich. He even bragged as such when filling out his campaign paperwork, boasting “I don’t care, I’m rich.” Trump lives in his fantasy world of luxury and cares nothing of the suffering of others. His privilege insulates him from the real suffering of America, and now he’s become the ultimate bully. We must not lose hope.
Americans come from many different walks of faith, but one biblical story I think offers comfort to women in sport who already had it tough, and now will get no words of encouragement from Washington.
In New Testament times, Jesus spoke of a rich man who, like Trump, cared nothing of the suffering of beggars like poor and righteous Lazarus. But in the end, God ensures the rich man suffers the consequences for his callousness, whereas Lazarus is given comfort. So, too, I believe will be the fate of Trump and those of us who refuse to submit to his sexist drivel. If we all continue to stand for what is right and give each and every man and women in this country the dignity and respect they deserve, Trump and hate cannot prevail.
And what should we say to Trump, supposedly a Christian man himself? For him, or those who see him as a savior of white supremacy and patriarchy, I think nothing needs to be said.
As Abraham himself said to the damned rich man, who requested a warning for his brothers: “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.” Surely enough warnings have been given about the wrong Trump will bring to America, but it is my sincere belief that a generation from now, he will be forgotten. For those of us who maintain courage in the face of his brazen attacks on women, those of color, those of other faiths we, like righteous Lazarus, will find comfort and peace.