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Women`s Issues/Donald Trump and the future of women's rights

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Question
Hi. My question is regarding the US Presidential elections, and Mr. Donald Trump in particular. I am just totally perplexed by the fact that this man, who has made such blatantly sexist (even downright misogynistic!)remarks about women and who clearly does not respect women as his equals is apparently so popular among Republican female voters (according to the polls). How can that be? I mean, to me this is akin to an African American person voting for a candidate who was or is a member of a white supremacist organization or a Jewish person voting for someone who has denied the Holocaust ever took place. It is just so completely illogical (and quite frankly infuriating!) to me. I have heard of internalized racism and internalized homophobia, is this a case of internalized sexism or misogyny? Why in your view, is Mr. Trump so popular among women voters? I can scarcely understand why any self-respecting and intelligent woman would vote for the Republican party period given it's abysmal record on women's rights but this guy is REALLY over the top! Also, should someone like Trump be elected what will that mean for the future of women's rights? Are you concerned? Thank you for your time Ms. Pressman Fuentes.

Answer
Dear Everleigh:

I wish I could answer your questions.  But they are ones I ask myself and cannot answer. It certainly does concern me as does the fact that I live in a country where such a man is being considered for president. What the pundits say is that there is a wellspring of dissatisfaction among people--with their lives, with their financial and employment situations, with their in- ability to play a significant role or have control over their lives--and along comes a man who says I can fix it for you; it's simple. And they would like to believe such easy solutions are possible.  The pundits also note that the three popular Republicans now are all people with no or scant experience in government: Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. So this evidences their dissatisfaction with our government and our politicians.  In any other sphere of life, we look for people with credentials and experience--why in the political realm do we find inexperience a plus? I was talking with a woman yesterday who said, "Obama likes Islam.  He's not a Christian, you know."  There's not a scintilla of evidence to support that view--and yet it exists.  I have a cleaning woman who is very short of funds--and supports the Republicans--who vote against her financial interests. She loves her social security payments without acknowledging that she'd never have it if it had been up to the Republicans.

People like you and me cannot understand these things because they are irrational. But it would appear that politics is emotional, and not based on facts.

Please remember that all these polls involve Republican candidates for president. I hope, but have no assurance, that Democrats and progressive people will not follow this line of thinking.

Best,
Sonia

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Sonia Pressman Fuentes

Expertise

I am an author, public speaker, feminist leader and lawyer. I was the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and a founder of WEAL (Women`s Equity Action League) and FEW (Federally Employed Women). I am an expert in the field of women`s rights to be free of employment discrimination based on sex.

Experience

I spent eight years as an attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and worked for one year as a volunteer attorney with the Montgomery County, MD, Human Relations Commission. I have lectured all over the world and the U.S. on women's rights to be free of employment discrimination based on sex and had articles on the subject published in newspapers, magazines, and journals and on the Internet. I also spent 11 years with multinational corporations in the field of EEO and labor law.

Organizations
I belong to NOW and the Veteran Feminists of America nationally and the Brandeis University National Women's Committee in Sarasota, FL. I am a member of the board of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in Sarasota, FL.

Publications
See my Web site at http://www.erraticimpact.com/fuentes for articles written by me, information on my memoir, "Eat First--You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter," and interviews of me.

Education/Credentials
I have an LLB from the University of Miami School of Law in Florida.

Awards and Honors
I received a superior performance award at the EEOC and was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, among other awards and honors.

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