Bullying women prevalent in this campaign

Published 12:00 pm Monday, August 15, 2016

On any given day you can find memes and PSAs against bullying on social media sites since the country agreed collectively that it’s a bad thing, whether it’s an older child picking on a smaller kid or a man hitting his spouse. It’s also generally agreed on that verbal or mental abuse is just as hurtful as physical abuse.

And yet, many in the country have been guilty of mental domestic violence for yours – not against their own spouses, but against presidents and/or presidential candidates.

As far as I can remember, the first lady has always been shown respect. Maybe it’s because of social media, but I don’t remember hearing people bashing former first ladies, despite their husband’s politics. Democrats respected Barbara Bush and Republicans respected Rosalynn Carter.

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I get people don’t agree with others’ politics. I know many don’t like President Barack Obama; however, never in my life have I seen and heard such horrible comments about a first lady than Michelle Obama has had to deal with. From people picking on her style of clothing to pictures of a gorilla named after her, the comments have not only been cruel and malicious, but racist and chauvinistic – even from other women from Michelle’s opposing party.

Now, during this presidential election, the spouse-bashing has hit new lows.

The affair between former president Bill Clinton and his intern are well known throughout the world. How devastating that had to be for Hillary as a wife and as a woman, forget her political party. Yet, the Clintons worked through it and moved forward and remained married.

Like an old wound, those against the Clintons have ripped open the scars, using Bill’s affair to shame Hillary once again, somehow suggesting her husband’s affairs has something to do with her ability to lead from the Oval Office. She’s been called such nasty names, the same kind of names the bully in school – the one the country is so against – would use against his or her target.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has made many chauvinist comments about women; however, that doesn’t excuse the actions against his wife, who, like Hillary, is being blamed for her husband’s politics and actions.

GQ released photos from a shoot Melania Trump did when she was 25 years old – years away from having an inkling she would one day be married to a man who could become president of the United States. She’s been criticized for being too beautiful and sexy to be the first lady. She’s been called names that would in other cases, be cause of sexual harassment lawsuits. A common name for her has been “First Lady Tramp.”

The election should be about the candidates, their ideas, their plans, their goals and their ability to make happen what they promise – not who dresses the best, who is more attractive or whose spouse is the most likely to cheat on them.

Alyssa Schnugg is city editor of the EAGLE. Write to her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com