Trump’s Campaign Manager’s View Of Rape Puts All The Responsibility On Women

At this point, it’s pretty clear Donald Trump just has no idea what he’s doing. In a recent campaign shakeup earlier this month, Trump made Kellyanne Conway his campaign manager and, much like the candidate, she often speaks without thinking. After some digging, the super PAC Democratic Coalition Against Trump, discovered that in 2013, Trump’s campaign manager said rape is women’s fault. Because they are weak. In a panel discussion on PBS she said, “If we were physiologically — not mentally, emotionally, professionally — equal to men, if we were physiologically as strong as men, rape would not exist. You would be able to defend yourself and fight him off.”

Yes, she actually said that if women were stronger, rape wouldn’t be an issue, which is just one of the most absurd and tone deaf things anyone associated with the Trump campaign has ever said. And that’s saying a lot, because the Trump crew says a lot of odd and offensive things on a regular basis.

The comments were made in regards to a discussion the panel was having about women in the armed forces and the physical tests all potential soldiers have to undergo, but her comments about female strength and rape are ridiculous on so many levels, both within and outside the context of the military.

First of all, there are also male victims of rape, so the strength and gender comparison is just wrong. But most importantly, her idea that women could “fight” a rapist off shows a break with reality because rape isn’t women’s fault. When someone assaults another person, it’s the assailant’s fault.

Also, women aren’t raped very often by strangers in a dark alley. That does happen, but just like being armed doesn’t protect women, being in shape and “strong” like a man doesn’t mean anything. And what if the woman is incapacitated for drugged? What if she knows her assailant (which is more common) and isn’t in a position to “fight?” There are so many things wrong with Conway’s argument.

Even more troubling is that Trump seems to associate with people who have some very out of touch and, frankly, dumb views about sexual assault and women in general. Roger Ailes has reportedly been advising the campaign, and he had to resign from Fox News for allegedly sexually harassing women for decades.

Trump has even said that if his daughter, Ivanka, were sexually harassed, he hopes she would just quit and find another job. Quitting in the face of harassment is akin to saying women should beef up to fight off rapists. It puts all the blame on the woman without even suggesting that maybe, uh, sexual harassment and rape are crimes often perpetrated by men.