The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) got underway this week, and it quickly produced some… notable moments. During a Friday panel discussion, none other than Donald Trump Jr. went so far as to mock the “#MeToo” movement, which seeks to give a voice to survivors of sexual misconduct. He thereby further entrenched his family name on a very certain, defunct side of history.
He was discussing the new granddaughter that Jerry and Becki Falwell welcomed into their family recently. Jerry leads the far-right Liberty University, and has long been a supporter of President Donald Trump even through his many sexism and sexual misconduct scandals, despite his professed Christian faith.
Trump Jr. had cut in to quip that they should have named the granddaughter “Trump,” but Becki noted that’s not exactly a feminine name, to which the president’s son shot back:
‘We’re gonna take a page out of the liberal playbook — it doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter, we identify how we want!’
To be clear, the liberal agenda — or whatever — does not include people simply identifying how they want. Rather, it incorporates an acceptance of those who feel their gender identity does not match up to societal expectations for their sex or biology. There’s a difference, and it’s really not that hard — Trump Jr. just apparently prefers to oversimplify matters and make transgender people a punch line.
He wasn’t done. As Jerry cut in and posited that parents didn’t even have to “teach” their children appropriate gender expressions because it’s something they’re “born with,” a grinning Trump Jr. cut in with “hashtag me too,” as if the sort of sexual interactions that the movement seeks to curtail are simply a normal part of life that should be accepted and as if outrage over the violating behavior is laughable, like transgender people are to Trump Jr.
At CPAC, Don Jr makes a “me too” joke while discussing guns and transgender people pic.twitter.com/ubdGv4ynPv
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) March 1, 2019
No one on the panel shot him down or anything of the sort, which besides the Falwells included right-wing agitator Charlie Kirk — who routinely spews blatant misinformation — and Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Trump Jr. has a personal stake in the issue he dismissed so flippantly, since his father has been credibly accused by numerous women of inappropriate, violating behavior. Apparently Trump Jr. thinks that women sounding an alarm about being groped, forcibly kissed, and the like is annoying and should be dismissed as irrelevant.
Similarly, the Trump family antagonism towards transgender people is not new. Since all the way back in 2017, the administration has been seeking to ban transgender people from serving openly in the military, and just recently, they finally got a victory with the Supreme Court allowing their ban to go into effect while it continued to be litigated.
The fact is not laughable that some Americans who just like those women who face sexual harassment and assault are simply trying to stick up for themselves as people have to face challenges to their very identity on the basis of that identity and nothing else. You’d hope that wouldn’t need to be said — but welcome to the Trump era.
Featured Image via screenshot from the video