Jennifer Lin was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer in the 1980s. In a recent article she recounted the time Donald Trump called her up to insult her. He then hung up on her, rang her editor and called her, as the article demurely states, the c-word.
What astounded me was not that Donald Trump had used this particular insult toward Lin–or any other woman. Donald Trump’s casual misogyny is expected and hardly newsworthy. What pissed me off was this quote from David Urban, a member of the Trump campaign:
“I find it incredibly coincidental that this person’s crystal clear recollection of one sentence, one word, spoken nearly 30 years ago just happens to coincide with Mr. Trump’s surge in Pennsylvania.”
Well, Mr. Urban, let me tell you, when it comes to being called a c**t, most women have crystal clear recollections. Every woman I know remembers it. And almost every women I know has had that particular insult hurled at her at one point or another. I would venture to say that even Ann Coulter, who is probably on the receiving end of that particular word more than any other modern woman, remembers.
You see, you terrible excuse for a human being Mr. Urban, it’s pretty damn easy to remember when you’re on the other end of an insult which is purposely designed to degrade.
So don’t kid yourself, Urban. Of course we remember.
We remember, Mr. Trump and you too. Mr. Giuliani. You can tell Gingrich and Christie and the rest of your band of merry misogynists as well.
We remember every time some snot-nosed high school boy called us a bitch, every time some blue-balled young man called us frigid.
We remember all the times someone told us we couldn’t or shouldn’t do something just because we were girls.
We remember the teachers who told us that girls were no good at math, the advisors who told us to take soft sciences, the coaches who told us we were pretty good…for a girl.
We remember the times we were called prudes and we certainly remember the times we were called sluts.
They’re words meant to wound. That’s why people use them.
We remember the times we were called whores–and the times we were called cock-teases for not being whorish enough.
We remember the times we were called fat. We remember the times we were called ugly. We remember the times we were called dogs and pigs. All those insults casually tossed out.
Why do you think Alicia Machado remembers so well, Mr. Trump?
And we certainly, as Ms. Lin did, remember when we’re called “the c-word”.
Women remember. Of course we do. After all, that’s the whole point of using those words, isn’t it? To make us remember–where we stand, who we are, who’s in charge.
We remember when our daughters come home and ask what it means because some asshole on a school bus thinks they’re being big and clever.
We remember when some junkie on the sidewalk shouts after us as we’re walking down the street.
We remember when some pathetic guy screams it in our face because we rejected his advances.
We don’t forget.
So, no, Mr. Urban, you asshole, it is not coincidental at all that Ms. Lin remembers one word that your boss screamed about her thirty years ago.
What’s even more insulting is that you think it doesn’t matter enough to remember. That like so many other ways of degrading human beings you think it’s a throw-away line.
Keep remembering all the way to November 8th. Remember when you’re pulling a lever or checking a box or folding a ballot.
I am over casual degradation and misogyny. I am over being expected to ignore and forget and told to concentrate on more important things. If you are too, join me. Share this post as a reminder to remember on November 8th, or use the hashtag #WeWomenRemember to share your stories.