We all know his greatest hits: ‘grab women by the pussy’; ‘Mexicans are rapists’; ‘blood coming out of her... wherever’. Then there was his move to separate immigrant children from their families and allow them to be kept in cages. And that’s without mentioning the 19 women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment (all of which he has, of course, denied). Now the misogynistic buffoon that is Donald Trump is coming to the UK. So we must stand in the streets in solidarity with the victims of both his rhetoric and his policies – and not just for the reasons we’ve covered. Given misogyny is front and centre of Trumpism, women must be front and centre of the resistance.
Trump’s negative impact on women extends beyond the open hostility and disdain of his words and alleged personal behaviour. On his first day in office, he reinstated the ‘Global Gag Rule’, which prevents any organisation that receives US Aid to even mention abortion to pregnant women – a move that’s led to the closure of clinics and a subsequent uptick in maternal deaths. And now that swing voter Justice Kennedy has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court – and Trump has systematically packed the US courts with white conservative men – abortion stands a very high chance of being outlawed in 24 states across America.
Recently, I spoke to Dr Shola Mos- Shogbamimu, the leader of Women’s March London (one of the main groups protesting on Friday), and she told me they will use the noise of pots and pans as a symbolic gesture of recognising women’s power. She is clear that women must lead the resistance – and she’s right. Not least because, given Trump’s past record of reserving his greatest disdain for women who dare to stand up to him (think of his calling Hillary Clinton ‘such a nasty woman’, as well as how he’s insulted the looks, intelligence and even sanity of all the women who have accused him of harassment), it’s likely that a woman-led protest will be particularly offensive to him.
Inevitably, there will be those who question why Trump is galvanising the angry masses and not, say, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman? (Although bin Salman has been heralded as a reformer on women’s rights, several feminist activists have recently been arrested.) But the necessity of this week’s protests come back to Trump’s vanity. What are the chances bin Salman cares about what the British public thinks of him? Very little. As for Trump, this is a man who felt the need to lie about the number of people who turned up to witness his inauguration. This is a man who cares very much about crowds and what they think of him. So, for this reason, if nothing else, join in the protests on Friday. Let Trump know what you think of him. He’ll hate it.