By Layla Abdullah-Poulos
The 2016 election season has been fraught with disturbing comments from and revelations about the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump. These revelations subsequently produce a laundry list of excuses for whichever candidate is currently in the media hot spot as well as attempts to deflect from the most controversial issues about their personality or policy.
Voters expect this and respond accordingly, which means they will either disparage or defend the candidate of their choice.
However, some supporters of this year’s presidential candidates have decided to breach common decency and resort to extremes beyond the scope of typical fanaticism. In this case, I am referring to that special type of person who is the ardent Trump supporter, who often transforms into a worshipper.
Surveyors of social media are accustomed to viewing some outlandish stuff on their feeds, but I think some of Trump’s supporters present a bevy of behaviors and attitudes that go past being irritating or offensive. Many of the quotes, tweets and pictures of Trump supporters demonstrate troubling levels of various social maladaptive attitudes, including racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, all of which carry starkly negative consequences for their targets.
A recent visual assault exhibiting the fixated mindsets of Trump supporters resulted from their willingness to defend the candidate’s atrocious attitude about women, encapsulated in Trump’s assertion that when you are famous, you can do anything to women, even, “grab them by the P***y.”
One T-shirt that piqued my interest shows a women wearing an obviously hand-crafted t-shirt with the words “Trump can Grab My” and an arrow pointing down to her crotch area.
The shirt shows the level of internalized misogyny that some women have. She is basically crying out “use me, objectify me” to the entire male population because there is little room for men not to comprehend that she just means one man, especially men who think of women as usable and disposable objects, which her shirt glorifies.
It also demonstrates a Jim Jones cult-like self-destructive mentality. Brandishing such a tee in our society, with its rampant rape culture, cuts at the wearer’s and every women’s female sexual autonomy. Her flippancy just opened the door for uninvited sexual attention and assault. Well, the wearer is inviting it but not the women who will have to face the consequences for her celebrated stupidity.
Because of the perfuse exposure of this disturbing photo and its broad ramifications on women across the country, I decided to present it to a cross-section of American Muslim women I know through various academic, professional and personal avenues for their thoughts.
Despite navigating multiple social intersections of race, gender, religion, etc. as well as their involvement in an array of professional and socio-cultural spheres, the national dialogue frequently ignores American Muslim women’s perspectives on issues outside of politicized pigeonholes of oppression against Muslim male aggression or victimization by non-Muslims emboldened through xenophobic White hostility.
It is high time their voices are amplified.
First: Sahar Abdulaziz