Updated - The Top 5 Things that Bernie and Trump have in Common

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One more example: They promised to show their tax returns, but never did!

1. Movement

Bernie: Our movement understands that what we don't need is Trump's huge tax breaks for millionaires. July 21, 2016

Trump: “It's a movement not a campaign.” Trump campaign ad September 20, 2016

Politicians never start movements because movements are started by people, always. Can you think of an instance where a billionaire ever started a movement?

Campaigns operate within our political system. Movements operate outside the political system.

2. Establishment

Trump, "I think the establishment actually is against me...” January 25, 2016

Bernie: “I think the people of Iowa have sent a very profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and, by the way, to the media establishment.” February 1, 2016

Both Trump and Bernie dislike the “establishment.” They both ran for president as “outsiders.”

In fact Bernie went so far as to refer to Planned Parenthood a “part of the establishment.” January, 2016

3. Corrupt

Trump: "Our laws are so corrupt and so stupid," Trump April, 2018

Both Trump and Bernie have contempt for our political system. Trump clearly wants to undermine our laws and Bernie has no faith in the political “system.”

Bernie: “Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.” November, 2015

Trump: “Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt, and when say corrupt I'm talking about totally corrupt political establishment, with a new government controlled by you the American people.” October 2016

4. Rigged

Trump: “I'm afraid the election is going to be rigged.” August 2, 2016

Althought Bernie never claimed the election was rigged against him, large numbers of his supporters firmly believe the DNC was rigging the primary for Hillary. His supporters believed the political system was broken and that the primary was rigged to favor Hillary.

5. They rarely smile

Bernie and Trump scowl. When they do smile it's rare and visibly pained.

Trump and Bernie's comfort zone is the angry face, but anger is not a substitute for governance.

There's more similarities

Although Bernie and Trump consistently referred to working men and women or “working families” during their presidential runs, the image of “working” was certainly an image of the white male laborer.

Moreover, it was this particular demographic, the white working male, that their supporters adamantly referred to when discussing Hillary's loss: 'She lost the working people.' But that is disingenuous. What they really meant was that she couldn't persuade the 'working man' to support her. Certainly working women backed her (read the championing of the Lilly Ledbetter bill by Hillary and Ledbetter's subsequent endorsement of Hillary). Moreover, people who were concerned about the state of our economy voted for Hillary.

Her “loss” is identified by many as her inability to connect with 'workers.” This image conjures up populist feelings of pride in the 'strong man' who works hard despite the powers of elites that conspire against him. Hillary was cast as an 'elite' evidenced in the constant references to her as being status quo or corporate.

Both Bernie and Trump want their movements. Yet, interestingly neither has any background in the women's liberation movement which changed this country radically in the mid-20th century with one of its most notable achievements: the opening of doors for women into traditionally male jobs.

Shockingly, Bernie gave a speech in 2015 on socialism and the greatness of the New Deal without ever mentioning Francis Perkins, the woman who essentially created the New Deal.

Political Parties

Bernie was never a Democrat until he ran for president in 2016 and now he has returned to being an independent. Trump, between 1987 and 2011, started as a registered republican and then switched to independent and then switched again to a democrat and then back to being a republican.

The similarities between the two men who campaigned against the first woman to win a major party nomination is worth analyzing.

When we move beyond this time and enter a new decade, perhaps, we can see more clearly the trends that laid a foundation for the Trump Presidency. Patriarchy is bolstered by people whose comfort zone is a male framework for culture and government. In order to pave the way for a fuller democracy for the United States our biases must be uncovered and seen in a new light.

-Jennifer Hall Lee

Why It's A Women's March For Our Country

 

Hillary Clinton, courtesy U.S. State Department

 

It's a Women's March because the women of the USA just lost their first female President - a woman who spent her life fighting for women and children. We have another generation of girls growing up into women without seeing a woman in the Oval Office. This has an affect on women. The male lock box of Oval Office power holds our country back. Boys and men see the ultimate seat of power in our nation as male. This has an affect on them. It's a march for the country because America is behind many other nations in terms of political equality for women. This affects our society economically and socially. We are fighting for our country because the way our first female president lost was due to a rogue FBI director and a foreign power. Freedom of the press and our civil liberties are at risk. We are fighting for our country because this new administration does not have respect for our institutions that help to keep our democratic republic stable. - Jennifer Hall Lee

Slut-Shaming Versus The Male Gaze

Am I a Slut-Shamer or just another feminist?


There are a few photos of a nude Melania Trump being passed around the web. I consider them to be feminist viruses that scream “click me.” They are invading our Facebook pages and our psyches.

These images are examples of the classic feminist concept called the Male Gaze, a term created by Laura Mulvaney in 1975. Mulvaney's  academic framework was brilliant and enabled us to finally analyze cinematic imagery with a feminist eye. 

What is the Male Gaze? It is the male point of view. We see the male gaze in pornography, comics, movies, and billboards. It is the lens through which we peer when seeing women and girls depicted for male consumption.

Good examples of the Male Gaze are the sexualized images of Marilyn Monroe. Ms. Monroe portrayed a woman as a mix of sexuality and girlish innocence in numerous movies. She was a pre-feminist cultural definition of the desirable female. She fought this description of herself because she wanted to have good roles with dramatic depth without success.

The women's liberation movement was too far into the future for her and she couldn't break through. Monroe stays forever embedded in the patriarchal milieu of pre-feminist movie-making. 

When I first saw the images of Melania Trump I couldn't help but to apply the Male Gaze and I critiqued them for what they are: images for men.

Then I posted them on Facebook and commented that our girls really didn't need to see these pictures of a First Lady.

And that's where the Slut Shaming cudgel came flying through the web to try and knock me out.

But, I was ready with my Wonder Woman power cuffs and deflected the assault.

Am I a Slut-Shamer or just another feminist?

The accusation of Slut-Shaming can be seen as a way to silence a woman for criticizing the patriarchal male gaze.

We are in an election where we have the chance to break the all male deadlock in the Oval Office. It is the first time we have a female nominee for president who has a good chance of being President. It is interesting these images have surfaced at this time.

The presence of these photographs challenge us at this historic point in time; Are we ready for a woman President or do we want to keep women as simply sexual beings?

The photo I posted, when I got my slut-spanking, had layers of meaning any progressive feminist would be excited to dissect and analyze. Let's give it a try.

Melania is nude and lying provocatively on a bed with tousled white sheets. She looks alluring and is staring straight at the camera – at us. We are looking down at her. Her body is vulnerable with spiky high heels that would hobble her if she tried to leave. Her jewelry consists of two heavily jeweled cuffs on both wrists and a jeweled choker around her neck. This bed is owned by someone. Her? I don't think so and here's why. She is on the bed, but she is handcuffed to a man's briefcase. Who has the key? The owner of the briefcase. The owner of the bed. The owner of her.

She is chained to him, capitalism, money, and patriarchy. If images could talk this would say, “If you have the money you can have me too."

I'm a feminist, sure I can criticize it.

Some say Trump is the bigger issue and these photos are minor compared to what he could do to our country if he becomes President. In a world where male presidents lord over us as the ultimate power image, with wives as appendages, yes he is the bigger issue.

However,  these images will trot alongside the images of an all male presidential ticket reinforcing an unequal relationship of power and gender. 

And as a feminist mother I have a job to do. I have to help my pre-teen navigate her way through this country and show her how to criticize the images of semi-nude women and yes, provocative images of girls, from television to the streets of my city. (Last night's stroll along Sunset Boulevard brought me to a towering image of a young woman in a tight bathing suit with butt cheeks exposed. )

Our daughters now stand at a moment in time where they can hold in their young minds images of a female President when deconstructing the images of the Male Gaze. 

A teen girl has to grow with a sense of her own power that is not sexual power.

But, thanks to the New York Post, if Trump wins, we have more images of the potential First Lady that will be very visible on the internet. The recent photos of Melania from the 1990s show her acting as a lesbian vixen and as a wet and waxed nude woman with no real pubic hair (an encouragement of pre-pubescent female sex). These clearly compound the problem ahead.

I didn't slut-shame Melania Trump. I criticized the image with a feminist point of view.

As a thinking person I have to allow myself to entertain the possibility that Melania could be First Lady.

A girl's discovery of these photos on the internet coupled with the fact that every single President in our history has been male is a tangled web of gender, power and sex that will have to be confronted if Trump wins.

And that's just pondering the result of girls (and boys) seeing these images here in the United States.

What will children in other countries think?

This isn't slut-shaming. This is a feminist issue. Keep talking.

 Photo of Melania Trump courtesy © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com

The Politics of Penis Power

 

Senator Marco Rubio with Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa, 2016

Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are comparing penis size in their run for the presidency.  What a difference Hillary has made in the 2016 race.

A woman could win the presidency and men are determined to show us she doesn't possess the right stuff, literally, a penis.

But, before the males can vanquish the female they have to beat their male opponents. Gender is going to be an issue in the general election and these male candidates are getting us ready by referencing their male body parts. For them the presidency is a male domain and they intend to keep it that way.

It has been said that small hands indicate small penis size. That is the quaint bit of folklore that Marco Rubio brought into the race. He said that even though Donald Trump is a tall man his hands are oddly small. “And you know what they say about men with small hands?”

Now there's a smack down.

Men have dominated the history of presidential politics in America, but the presence of Hillary has shifted the power dynamics. To use sexism against her, such as accusing her of of being shrill, will be attacked for what it is, so let's get down to what it's all about – the penis.

Even Donald Trump said recently that back in 2008 Hillary got “schlonged.”

The Oval Office is the ultimate mirror of power in the United States and the reflection has always been male. For women this image has never been their own. We are told that the presidency is for us too, but that has been an illusion under which we have all been expected to live until now.

Clearly Trump and Rubio are quietly panicked at the possibility of being beaten by a woman. So they have to come right out and say it through penis imagery, “The Oval Office is reserved for men and the big one wins.”

In the last republican debate Trump pounced on the accusation that he had a small penis.  He held up his hands and said. “Look at those hands. Are they small hands? I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee you.”

The penis talk underlines an assumption that come the general election Hillary will have a problem because she has no penis. Male power is entwined with a belief that women are inferior. If Hillary wins than that belief is dead. 

Being male and being president have always gone together. Hillary alters the race. Will the penis count?

Interestingly, there is a precursor to talking about penis size; men going shirtless. Martin O'Malley sported the topless look early in the presidential race in the tradition of showing voters he is a virile man. It's a male tradition of sly messages.

We can't deceive ourselves anymore with subtleties. Penis talk is bold and vulgar. All male candidates of the presidency have rested comfortably in the fact that they follow in a long line of male candidates; the Oval Office has been a man's domain. Hillary marks a great change for the country's highest position. 

For many this shift in power is unsettling. For others, like me, it's exhilarating. If she becomes president then the next generation of girls and boys will see power in a new way. 

In the past men only had to compete with half the population, yet now, and in the future, the field will be doubled. This is a positive change because only through a broader field of candidates will we have greater opportunity to elect the best person for president.

For those who want to keep the field of candidates limited and male, talking about penis size, is a last resort.

Image courtesy Gage Skidmore/ WikiCommons