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WaPo: "Stop Trumpsplaining"


Apr 30, 2005
"I get it. You won. Now please stop trying to help me feel better.

I need some time to take this in. I will get there. I believe in the United States. I believe in our democracy. I know this happened, and I know that you didn’t mean your vote as an endorsement of racism, sexism, immigrant-bashing or any of those other things you tell me it’s not an endorsement of.

And, yes, I get, too, that you really (really, really) hate Hillary Clinton. That you hate all Clintons and that you think electing her would have been the end of the world. Got it. Check. I hear ya.

The thing is I really just need some time, and sending me links explaining why “America” voted for Donald Trump isn’t helping. To put it mildly: Telling me how “real Americans” feel is counterproductive.

And, guess what? I have read article after article about this already. Yup. I knew that white, working-class Americans felt left behind in the global economy and that many Rust Belt communities were hurting and that most politicians have basically ignored them. And this does trouble me. And I do sympathize, and I do think this a real problem that needs to be addressed.

But … it’s still not pleasant to wake up Tuesday morning feeling like you’re Katniss Everdeen and to go to bed Wednesday morning realizing that tens of millions of your fellow Americans — the real ones, apparently — think you’re one of those stupid, shallow people with weird makeup and strange hair in Panem. You can imagine how disorienting that would be, right?

It’s my understanding from Trump supporters that I should believe only about half of what candidate Trump said on the campaign trail. I could note that it’s a bad sign when your own supporters believe only half of what you say, but that would be ungracious. (Sorry, I’m still in the Anger Stage.)

Ironically — or, is this irony? I can’t tell anymore — I believed only about half of what Donald Trump said, too. The disconnect between the Trump community and me hinges on which half. I didn’t believe the part about replacing Obamacare with something really great. In a nutshell, I was troubled by the lack of specificity. You didn’t believe the “grab them by the p—y” comment. That seemed, well, plenty specific and believable to me. Too specific by far.

This leads me to what I’m thinking of as “Trumpsplaining.” From my outsider’s perspective, it seems hard to separate misogyny and racism and all the rest from what one says. If I say that I can do anything I want to a woman or that I’d like to punch somebody in the face for protesting or a lot of other things, I don’t understand how that’s not sexism, racism …

Have the rules changed? Do you have to actually be caught in the act of grabbing someone for it to count?

Of course not, you tell me. This is just inelegant phrasing, locker-room talk, pep-rally dissing. And I know you believe this and that you don’t support any of the bad stuff and that you would help others regardless of race or creed and, in many cases, already do. But there are some people who are going to be emboldened by the harsh things that have been said. And there are some people who are very hurt and scared by the things that have been said. And you’re going to have to work really hard to keep those people’s impulses in check. And I do mean you, because clearly my opinions don’t matter very much right now. (Look at me! I skipped right to Depression!)

But I digress."
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