When young women hear Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump say things like, “She ate like a pig,” or “A woman who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10,” it can cause lifelong harm.
Liz, a middle school teacher from Florida and an AFT member, sees the damage it does to young women every day.
AFT President Randi Weingarten emailed activists today asking them to watch and share Liz's message.
Like millions of women, I’ve been told I’m too ambitious, told to smile more, to be less passionate, or less assertive.
Like millions of women, I know how painful it can be to be judged based on looks, rather than on character, accomplishments or skills.
The person we elect on Nov. 8 will tell young women whether America believes that women deserve dignity and respect. And if Donald Trump wins, it will tell young men that demeaning, degrading and even assaulting women is just fine.
We work hard to teach our students and our own children it’s what’s inside and what we do in the world that count. But how can they believe we’re serious if we elect a president who says he doesn’t treat women with respect, demeans women for their physical appearance and brags openly about sexual assault?
Trump isn’t the first person to demean women on a national stage, but if we elect him president, we send a clear message—especially to young people—that this conduct is perfectly appropriate and that women don’t deserve to be treated as equals.
Liz says, “I want my students, male and female, to know…that nobody has the right to judge them or anyone else by some arbitrary and rigid standard of beauty.”
Hillary Clinton has spent her life fighting for inclusion and respect for women and girls. She went to China in 1995 and declared, “Women’s rights are human rights.” She has fought for women and children her entire adult life—for things like equal pay, family and medical leave, pre-K through college education, child care and children's health, community schools and reproductive rights. And as secretary of state, she did this for women and girls across the world.
That’s the kind of leadership we need—not more of the toxic narcissism Trump carries so proudly. Young women don’t need a president who doesn’t respect them, and young men don’t need a president who shows them that misogyny is just fine.
This article is cross-posted from the AFL-CIO blog.