Women's March On Washington (Getty/Mike Coppola)

50 women in U.S. House pen letter to Trump denouncing "continuing derogation of women" by president

"[I]nstead of being the biggest bully on the playground, why don’t you set a moral example for our children?”


Andrea Germanos
February 1, 2020 2:29PM (UTC)

This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Fifty women in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday sent a scathing letter to President Donald Trump to denounce what they called his "continuing derogation of women" in his "rhetoric and policies."

"It is most shameful that the words young girls and boys hear directed at women from the upper echelons of power are dripping with disdain and disrespect," reads the letter from the Democratic Women's Caucus.

Advertisement:

"Words matter," Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) wrote on Twitter in a post sharing the letter. "The Occupant's misogynistic rhetoric is equally as disturbing as the misogynistic, anti-women policies coming out of his administration on a daily basis."

The letter references some of Trump's comments — "Grab 'em by the pussy" is but one example — as evidence of his disrespectful words and conduct.

"Beyond your public policy choices — stripping away women's access to healthcare, undermining protections for survivors of sexual assault, reversing equal pay efforts and more — your words demonstrate a contempt for women who dare to do their jobs or speak truth to power which reflects poorly on you," the lawmakers write.

Advertisement:

The latest example of contemptuous conduct the letter notes was the president's response this week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after Pompeo bullied and lashed out at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly for doing her job.

"Asking a woman with a master's degree in European Studies from the University of Cambridge to identify Ukraine on a blank map would be laughable were it not so insulting," states the letter. "And your response—validating this misogyny with a 'good job' and a pat on the back—says it all."

The letter also references Trump's 2018 comments to indicted businessman Lev Parnas demanding the ouster of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Trump "smeared" her name for personal benefit, the letter says.

Advertisement:

"Mr. President, instead of being the biggest bully on the playground, why don't you set a moral example for our children?" the lawmakers ask.

The text of the full letter is below:

Dear President Trump:

We are writing this letter in response to your continuing derogation of women in your rhetoric and policies.

Advertisement:

'You did a good job on her. Take her out. Get rid of her. Lock her up. Send her back. Nasty woman. Disgusting. Low IQ. Whack job. Grab 'em by the pussy.'

'I can do whatever I want.'

It is most shameful that the words young girls and boys hear directed at women from the upper echelons of power are dripping with disdain and disrespect. Beyond your public policy choices—stripping away women's access to healthcare, undermining protections for survivors of sexual assault, reversing equal pay efforts and more—your words demonstrate a contempt for women who dare to do their jobs or speak truth to power which reflects poorly on you. It is as if you relish the opportunity to publicly humiliate any woman who fights back, speaks up, or takes up space.

Advertisement:

This letter is of the greatest urgency because the message being sent to young girls and boys is that women don't matter and their equality is allowable only when convenient. The most recent example of Secretary Pompeo ridiculing a well-respected reporter for asking tough questions — doing her job — is a case in point. Asking a woman with a master's degree in European Studies from the University of Cambridge to identify Ukraine on a blank map would be laughable were it not so insulting. And your response — validating this misogyny with a "good job" and a pat on the back — says it all.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an esteemed career diplomat committed to anti-corruption reforms who you referred to as "the woman" who is "going to go through some things" in your July 25 call with President Zelensky, was yet another casualty. After imploring your associates to "take her out," you smeared her good name and career for your own personal benefit.

Mr. President, instead of being the biggest bully on the playground, why don't you set a moral example for our children?"

Advertisement:

Andrea Germanos

Andrea Germanos is a senior editor and staff writer at Common Dreams.

MORE FROM Andrea Germanos


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Misogyny U.s. House Of Representatives Women

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •