I watched the American 2nd debate, and it sparked all kinds of reactions in me. Watching Trump make his (what I knew intellectually were baseless) accusations with his emotional tone so strong, I felt a sick fear that people would buy what he said, just because of the way he said it. I saw him pacing around and looming over Hilary when she was speaking, and recognized two things:
– The normality of this kind of male behaviour, and
– Why I thought it was normal; i’d seen it and experienced in the workplace for most of my adult life.
I felt sick with fear because I’d seen Trump’s nastiness and misogyny from my first few media glimpses of him. I’d recognized his body language and the subtext in his words. I felt sick with fear as I watched apparently respectable people continue to support him, apparently blind to who he was. I felt sick with fear as I saw powerful men (and a couple of women) grimace but support him. I felt sick with fear when I heard the bus tape because I’ve known men with power who spoke about women in a similar way, and they weren’t penalized. I honestly couldn’t tell, during the debate, whether the man I’d despised since even before the presidential race was getting away with it, whether the earnest and smart, hard-working woman was going to continue being faulted because, they claimed, she was bad and because her own party saw her as bland, not magically charismatic.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that the American presidential race lasts so long. Perhaps the length has given people the chance to look beyond the boasting and see the dark reality. Goodness knows, lots of stories have surfaced about how Trump has stiffed contractors and even the caterer for his third marriage. The whole taxes thing that he’s now trying to spin into business acumen. The racial and religious baiting. The encouragement of violence – what did he mean when he said Hilary’s Secret Service guards should give up their guns? The bus tape made it gruesomely obvious who Trump is and I have been a bit relieved at the reaction.
Perhaps the long drawn out American Presidential campaign has opened many eyes. I hope and pray!