Sorry, Donald Trump, But the “Woman Card” Doesn’t Exist
Almost immediately after all but securing the Republican nomination Tuesday night, Donald Trump attempted to explain Hillary Clinton’s impressive four-state win.
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” he said after handily winning five states that will never rid themselves of his dayglow stink.
Just in case he wasn’t clear, Trump followed up yesterday on CNN. “She is a woman,” he told New Day co-host Chris Cuomo. “She is playing the woman card left and right. She didn’t play it last time with Obama. But she’s playing it much harder this time and she will be called on it. If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”
Just as Barack Obama doesn’t have the magical “race card” he was accused of somehow using to his advantage in a country that once considered him three-fifths of a person, Hillary doesn’t have a “woman card.” No one does. After spending 31 years walking around this planet in a woman’s body (and double-checking my wallet just in case), I can assure Trump that there is no such thing.
Maybe Trump was trying to downplay Clinton’s success on Tuesday night, which was clear and strong. Maybe, realizing his more hateful antics frequently pay off with votes, he was intentionally stoking the gender war. Or maybe he was simply confusing this mythical card with the woman badge — which is very, very real.
Unlike the woman card, the woman badge can’t be hidden away and pulled out when convenient. It is always present, worn front and center, the first thing people notice when you walk into a room, blinking with neon text like a bad boardwalk souvenir.
The messages change. Sometimes the badge says, “Feel free to pay me less — everyone else is doing it.” Other times it reads, “Go ahead, legislate my uterus!” Some say, “If you sexually harass me as I fight for my country, you’ll probably get away with it.” Last weekend, mine read: “I know it looks like I’m walking my dog in sweatpants, but what I really want is for your drunk ass to follow me down Snyder asking if I’ve ever been with a real man. You’re correct in thinking that I’ll probably be polite about it, because even though I’m embarrassed to say so, I’m a little afraid of you.”
She’s a woman in the public eye who has things to say, so I can only imagine how heavy Hillary’s woman badge is today. She’s a total pro at this point, but I imagine it burns a little as Trump undermines her accomplishments at every turn. I can’t help but think she feels it when factions of her own party continue to attack her as the race winds down. Looking back, I wonder if she was aware of it in 2008 when party leaders called her to step aside, smile pretty and put up a united front for Obama. It is, admittedly, hard to imagine a man doing the same, to hear these words in Bernie Sanders’ voice: “Now, when I started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace, prosperity and progress. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do, by ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of the Oval Office on January 20, 2009.”
Clinton isn’t the perfect candidate. Far from it. #ImWithHer, yes, but that’s because the alternative is handing the White House keys to a radioactive plantar wart. What I can’t deny is that her mere existence in this race, in a country where women couldn’t vote 100 years ago and some still struggled to do so as late as the 1960s, is inspiring. Hillary Clinton didn’t get this far because she’s a woman — she got this far in spite of being a woman every single day.
You know what that calls for? A goddamn real-life woman card, superhero style, for little girls to trade on the playground. Maybe Hillary can pose in front of the new drapes she ordered for the Oval Office on Tuesday night. Beyonce can come, too.
Follow Monica Weymouth on Twitter.