April 12, 2016 was Equal Pay Day as President Obama honored the movement for women’s equality by designating the Sewall-Belmont House as a new national monument. This historic house served as the headquarters for the National Women’s Party, where members wrote more than 600 pieces of legislation in support of equal rights. The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument will be the first national monument honoring women’s equality in the United States.
As a young democratic woman, I truly cannot believe that a gender pay gap still exists as we celebrate Equal Pay Day. What’s even more troubling than pay inequity is the sexist rhetoric prevalent in the current presidential election, particularly from the republican candidates. While President Obama and fellow democrats are fighting for equal rights, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are fighting over their wives’ appearances.
I am deeply ashamed of this chauvinistic rhetoric, and although Donald Trump has since admitted that attacking Heidi Cruz was a mistake, it is difficult to believe him. Trump has centered his campaign, not around the issues that voters care about, but on attacking those who question or oppose him.
Since August Trump has maliciously attacked Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, simply because she questioned his history of degrading remarks against women during a debate. Via Twitter, Trump has called her crazy and sick, and has even encouraged his supporters to boycott her show. Even though Fox News slammed Trump’s ‘sick obsession’ with Kelly, he has continued his attacks.
An advertisement by Our Principles PAC shows Trump’s history of sexism, which alone should disqualify him from office.
Unfortunately, Trump’s sexist comments don’t stop there. Recently, when he was questioned on abortion, Trump said that women who seek an abortion should be punished. This is truly terrifying, especially as a woman who firmly supports Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights. Yet despite this comment demeaning women’s rights as well as a slew of similar comments, Trump is still considered the GOP front-runner. Why are strong and influential women, like Sarah Palin and Kirstie Alley, still endorsing him? How are we, as females, allowing sexism and gender discrimination to creep into this presidential election?
I believe it’s time for the women of the United States to stand up against Donald Trump and other like-minded politicians. The hard-earned rights that women have fought for over the last century are in jeopardy if we allow ignorance and inequity to win. As a strong supporter of the anti-Trump movement, I hope to see more leaders – both male and female – denounce his candidacy and in turn support women as equals in the workplace and beyond.
As we celebrate Equal Pay Day, we must honor the women who fought so hard for our rights by moving women’s equality forward and not backward with our choice for the next President of the United States.
Written by: Alexandra Watters
Alexandra Watters is a senior communication major at the College of Charleston. With having great interest for political communication, Watters hopes to find herself working in Washington, D.C. following graduation. Watters is a member of the Event Management team for the Bully Pulpit Series.