March 8, Wednesday, marked International Women’s Day. And US President Donald Trump noted it by posting a few tweets in honor of women. As is expected of his posts nowadays, he roused up a storm of reactions. Plenty jumped on his posts to roast him, while supporters quickly jumped to his defense.
Perhaps, the most polarizing US President in recent history, Trump hasn’t exactly been known for his outward feminism. This puts him in stark contrast with his predecessor, Barack Obama, a self-proclaimed feminist. More often than not, he’s been criticized for condescending comments on women. That set his posts up for a predictable maelstrom of responses.
“I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and economy,” Trump first tweeted. Then he added, “On International Women’s Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America & around the world.”
I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2017
The Open Fire
Those who quickly used Donald Trump’s tweet as an opportunity to grill him turned to defamatory comments he’s previously made. Plenty of them were focused on comments he had made twelve years ago, in a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood video, where Trump dropped the now-infamous “grab them by the (expletive)” line.
Several others followed, adding fuel to the fire. Lines were taken from previous interviews and comments by Trump caught by the media, largely focused on his comments about women’s looks and his suggestive remarks.
'I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society & our economy.' Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/JveWBihQFg
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 8, 2017
At Trump’s Defense
Donald Trump also had his fair share of supporters. One quickly mentioned the education of his daughters. They also referenced the fact that his daughter Ivanka is an astute businesswoman on her own. She has a multi-million dollar company under his name. Another referenced Trump’s administration providing jobs to women.
Shortly after his election in late 2016, some female Trump supporters expressed their way of thinking around Trump’s supposed sexism. To them, the remarks were a small matter:
“(He’s) an imperfect person, like all of us,” one Manhattan citizen said, “I do believe he does like women. He cares for his daughters and wife and female employees. He does respect women.”
Meanwhile, the “A Day Without Women” celebration coincided with International Women’s Day. The movement acts as an extension of the Women’s March earlier last month, which in turn, acted as a pseudo Anti-Trump protest. The “A Day Without Women” celebration encourages women to take a leave from work, and has been met with plenty of criticism of its own. Due to the “celebrations”, some schools were forced to shut down for a day, as the kids would be left largely unsupervised.
Hope they are all fired on Thursday. https://t.co/B2iRPGOskA
— Mary (@scarym76) March 8, 2017
Groups of women voting for Donald Trump expressed their refusal to stand alongside the celebration in solidarity with the president. Some “Women for Trump” groups referenced how 53% of white females voted for Trump back in November, awarding him the presidency.