Donald Trump, business mogul, known racist, and last man standing in the Republican presidential race, visited the Bay Area last week, and to put it lightly, things didn’t go so well. The good ol’ angry mob blocked him from entering the San Francisco Hyatt Regency where he had come to give a speech, forcing him to climb a fence and, of course, inspiring him to make an uncomfortable joke about crossing the border. Most protesters were critical of Trump’s terrible comments and policies on race, some of them bearing Mexican flags… and then there were Free the Nipple protesters targeting Trump, too.
The presence of Free the Nipple protesters outside this Trump rally has made small waves on social media, and was briefly mentioned by local news outlets covering anti-Trump protests. But overall, these protesters’ interest in Trump remained fairly mysterious.
Or so it did, until I found this one post by the activist group Melanie Nathan Advocacy, which reported on their blog the true motives behind Free the Nipple protesters going after Trump:
“The California GOP Convention will be held near SFO, and Free The Nipple will be there to protest Trump’s hateful rhetoric and offer a positive alternative: the Equal Rights Amendment.”
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The post goes on:
“The Equal Rights Amendment, an apparent terrifying thought for … Mr. Trump, would guarantee equality under the Constitution for all genders.
It’s 2016 and the USA still does not have a Constitutional equality provision guaranteeing equal rights for women. …
Free The Nipple is launching a national campaign to help ratify the three remaining states needed to officially pass the ERA and make it the 28th amendment to the constitution.
True, Trump might be better known for racism, but it also makes sense that there are protesters starting to take issue with his stances on women and advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment outside his door. Just last month he suggested that women who obtain abortions be punished, while donating to anti-choice groups, throwing slews of sexist comments at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, attacking Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly with one of the most bizarre brands of misogyny I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing, and just targeting women in general.
Frankly, nothing makes me happier than seeing activists call out Trump for being a bigot, but it’s refreshing to see some activists calling him out for being a misogynist, too.
The ERA just so happens to be one of the most important pieces of legislation to the feminist movement, in history, and FYI, it still hasn’t passed. The amendment has come close to being passed, but the activism of conservative legend and known Trump supporter Phylliss Schafly, which pointed out that it could potentially lead to women being drafted and the end of “protective legislation” (or gentler working conditions for female laborers) was ultimately its undoing. Granted, it could/should have been argued back then in the 1920’s that instead of denying women formal recognition of their statuses as human beings, we could have just ended the draft for and granted better working conditions to men/women/everyone.
But at any rate, it’s 2016, and here we are: the ERA still hasn’t been passed, Donald Trump is a misogynist, and topless women are showing up to his rallies fighting for gender equality. If you think about it, next to holding up signs with catchy slogans, going topless is arguably the most spot-on way to protest misogyny and advocate for the ERA, when you consider the cultural stigma and, in some regional cases, legal opposition that prevents women but not men from proudly seizing their bodily autonomy and taking off their shirts. And overall, if you think about it, it’s pretty shitty how society takes no issue with breasts in the context of pornography and marketing, and only does when in the context of women having control over their bodies. Thanks, patriarchy.
However you might personally feel about seeing women’s nipples in public, you have to concede that this is a complete, gendered double standard that, if passed, the ERA would be able to address.
At any rate, this is by no means the first time topless women have protested Trump and his hate speech, misogyny, and general douchebaggery. But it’s probably the first time they’ve made it this close to one of his rallies. Prior to this, one topless woman showed up to a Bernie rally to protest Trump, claiming that she tried unsuccessfully to get into the Trump rally in Fountain Hills.
Frankly, it’s probably for the best that she wasn’t able to get into a Trump rally — by now, these rallies are notorious for their violence, casually encouraged by Trump himself, and usually targeting racial minorities and women. At a rally last month, one teenage girl was allegedly sexually violated by Trump supporters.
Trump has yet to respond to the Free the Nipple/ERA supporters who have been protesting him, and frankly, what with all the misogynistic comments he’s already dropped over these past few months, maybe it’s for the best that he doesn’t.
However, if you’re interested in seeing a presidential candidate’s reaction to a topless female protester, in the above video you can see Bernie notice the topless woman following a string of applause after she takes off her shirt, only to smile a bit and go on in his rant about economic equity. Back in March, one mom who breastfed at Sanders’ rally opened up on social media about how the candidate and his wife thanked her for taking the time to feed her child, which sure beats Trump’s alleged response to a breastfeeding mother. Progressive, indeed.
Original by Kylie Cheung