Double Trouble


On April 16th of 2016, Donald Trump retweeted, “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”  Before you say anything-yes, these are the beliefs of the GOP nominee running for president of the United States.  This tweet was subsequently retweeted and favorited by hundreds of Trump supporters.  These words, however, were not just an example of “Donald being Donald,” but rather a perfect insight into the double standards that both Clinton and the female-identifying people of this country face.

As the first presidential debate neared, much argument rose regarding how either one of the candidates may win.  Though both of the candidates’ goals were to persuade more voters to agree with their ideas, the media believed that their objectives were quite the contrary.  In short, Hillary Clinton was held to unreachable standards by republicans, democrats, men, and women.  When she smiled during the debate, she was criticized for not being a serious enough candidate.  When she kept a straight face, she was told to lighten up.  Attempting to continue her train of thought by speaking over Trump’s childish interruptions, Clinton was attacked with accusations of not being respectful enough.  In order to win the debate, Hillary had to laugh, but not too much, dress to impress her future voters, but also to please the eyes of men, and to smile, but in a very particular way because “Hillary’s condescending smile is NOT likeable” (Richard Grenell, via twitter, 28 September 2016).  Clinton, being a woman, was forced to start at a lower level than Trump to begin with, no matter her credentials and history in politics.  She was held back by the constant stream of misogynistic criticisms that prevent her from presenting her truly candid self to her supporters.  On the night of the debate, Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, tweeted, “Hillary was likeable tonight.  I thought the power of a strong, professional woman making her case was almost charming.”  At first glance, this tweet could almost be one in support of Clinton, but the choice of words Matthews used expressed the internalized misogyny that plagues our society today, making everything that a woman does or says not worthy of the same respect that men enjoy.

The criticisms Clinton faced could be permittable if Trump were subject to the same standards.  He did not have to present strong characteristics and well-organized ideas in order to be declared the winner of the debate.  Known to be candid and outspoken about serious presidential matters, expectations of a drastic change for the debate were low.  Trump would be deemed presidential if he did not participate in his usual antics of producing false information, interrupting other debaters and commentators, and avoiding questions all together.  He did not have to direct his efforts into worrying about his choice of clothing, how he wore his hair, the way in which he smiled, or if he blinked too often.  Basically, Trump needed to act like a human being capable of understanding social cues and common decency, which is expected from all members of society, let alone the GOP nominee for president.

While Hillary was put to the test on everything from her choice of pantsuit to her plan of incorporating clean energy into the United States, Donald was held to a standard so low that even a child who has just learned to say please and thank you could reach it.

According to Trump and millions of other Americans, Clinton does not have the stamina to be president.  For some, this could mean that they truly support Trump’s ideas.  For most, however, it means that they believe Hillary is physically missing something that Donald has, bringing light to the misogyny that takes place in the United States.  With his tweet on April 16th, Trump described the mentality of his supporters: Clinton should be criticized based on irrelevant information, such as her husband cheating on her. This would never be the case for a man running for office.  This just goes to show that extreme double standards not only happen on a day to day basis, but even in the most significant election in Americans’ lives today.  According to Trump and all his supporters, the only way for Clinton to satisfy America is by being a man.