It isn’t at all surprising that a candidate who has a long history of making misogynistic and degrading statements about women, has bragged about the endorsement of a convicted rapist, has talked about Hillary Clinton getting “schlonged,” and at one point backed the idea of punishing women who have abortions would attract the support of those with their own histories of troubling rhetoric about women.
Indeed, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has touted the endorsements of several politicians and activists who have done everything from denounce women’s suffrage to deny the existence of marital rape.
1) Phyllis Schlafly
Schlafly is the founder of the anti-feminist group Eagle Forum and is best known for helping defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.
Among her anti-feminist beliefs is the claim that marital rape does not exist.
“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape,” she said in 2007, later explaining that marital rape is simply a fabrication invented by feminists who want to levy the accusation when “they get tired of a husband” or “want to fight over child custody.” (Trump’s own lawyer has similarly claimed that marital rape is not rape).
Besides denying the existence of marital rape, she has blamed reports of sexual assaults on college campuses on the rising number of female college students, criticizing policies to combat assaults for turning college campuses into “a dangerous place for men.”
“There isn’t any rape culture,” she said in 2014. “There is a war on men.”
Colleges, according to Schlafly, should stop enforcing Title IX and install gender quotas to protect male admissions.
She has also proposed “increasing the so-called pay gap” between men and women in order to help women find husbands, since “the pay gay, really, is something that women like” as they would prefer to marry “a higher-earning man.”
2) Joe Arpaio
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, has been one of Trump’s biggest boosters, campaigning with the candidate and cheering on his anti-immigrant proposals.
As Ian Millhiser noted in Think Progress, the Justice Department’s complaint cataloged instances where Arpaio’s deputies were “forcing women to sleep in their own menstrual blood,” “assaulting pregnant women,” “stalking Latina women” and “ignoring rape.”
Last year, The Guardian reports, Arpaio’s office “agreed to pay $3.5m to settle a lawsuit that alleged metro Phoenix’s sheriff botched the investigation into the rape of a 13-year-old girl and failed to arrest the suspect who then went on to sexually attack her again,” a case that “was among more than 400 sex-crime cases that were inadequately investigated or not looked into at all by Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office during a three-year period ending in 2007.”
3) Ann Coulter
While Trump has been campaigning with conservative columnist Ann Coulter to promote her attacks on immigrants, we wonder if she will ever lead one of his campaign rallies in a chant against women’s suffrage.
This is far from Coulter’s only controversial views on women’s issues.
She once said that women who claim to have been raped are typically “girls trying to get attention” and refused to condemn the murder of abortion provider George Tiller, mocking concerns about violence against abortion providers.
4) Scott DesJarlais
Among the first members of Congress to endorse Trump was Tennessee Republican Scott DesJarlais, who along with some of his fellow GOP lawmakers met with Trump in March to work on ways to unify the party.
As we’ve noted, the GOP congressman has quite the record on women’s issues:
Before running for Congress as a “pro-life” and “pro-family” Republican, “DesJarlais, a physician, pressured a patient who was his mistress to get an abortion. It was later revealed that the pro-life congressman had approved of his first wife having two abortions, and that he’d had sex with at least two patients.” He also had affairs with “three coworkers and a drug representative,” and was later fined for violating medical ethics.
DesJarlais’ ex-wife also accused him of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff’s locked bedroom door, [admitting] suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior … i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”
5) Robert Jeffress
Texas-based pastor Robert Jeffress is one of Trump’s most outspoken Religious Right supporters and campaign surrogates. For instance, Jeffress rushed to Trump’s defense when he said that women who have abortions should face “some form of punishment.”
Conservatives’ outrage over @realDonaldTrump abortion comments hypocritical. Maybe they don’t really believe abortion is murder.
— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) March 31, 2016
Jeffress, an enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, has also dismissed security threats against abortion providers and clinics and, like Trump, has some interesting thoughts about the 9/11 attacks.
The Southern Baptist pastor argued that God let the attacks take place because “he certainly won’t allow the sacrifice of children to go unpunished,” referring to legal abortion.
With endorsers like these, Trump will be well on his way to winning the women’s vote.