On Tuesday morning, President Trump attempted to distract the nation from the Democratic National Convention and soften his image in the eyes of women voters by issuing a pardon for Susan B. Anthony, the suffragette hero who was arrested and later convicted for illegally voting in 1872.
“She was never pardoned. What took so long?” asked Trump at his White House signing ceremony. “She was guilty for voting. And we are going to be signing a full and complete pardon. And I think that’s really fantastic. She deserves it.”
Trump's announcement that he's pardoning Susan B. Anthony is met with laughter pic.twitter.com/ycIFtFtQOQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 18, 2020
Tellingly, the audience laughed when he made the announcement, which was supposed to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment.
Of course, Trump doesn’t actually care about women or their desires, because he never bothered to ask why she was never pardoned.
It’s because she didn’t want to be pardoned.
Former Democratic Representative Katie Hill, who has written a book on misogyny in politics and the women’s suffragette movement, took to Twitter to point out to the President how his pardon flew in the face of what Susan B. Anthony actually wanted, which was to not be pardoned until all women had full equality.
Trump even pointed out that she never put her name forward for pardon even when she did for other women BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T WANT TO BE.
Unsurprisingly, Trump is putting on a show to pretend he cares about women but doesn’t give a shit about what women really want.
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) August 18, 2020
– I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand
– The only chance women have for justice in this country is to violate the law, as I have done, and as I shall continue to do
— Jessi Gold MD MS (@drjessigold) August 18, 2020
Though men like Donald Trump and other social conservatives like Ben Shapiro are adamantly pretending that the women’s rights movement is over, women are equal and feminism is an attack on men by radical leftists, the truth is far uglier.
The Equal Rights Amendment is still unratified some fifty years later and the gender pay gap is as bad as it’s ever been. Latina women are paid only 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes, while Native women earn only 57 cents, Black women 62 cents, white women 79 cents, and Asian women 90 cents. Donald Trump himself is abusing the powers of the government to disenfranchise women voters of color across the nation.
It’s just so painfully appropriate for Trump, who has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by at least 25 women, to have issued a pardon in a transparently meaningless stunt that the recipient wouldn’t even have wanted in the first place.
After all the misogynistic attacks and insulted he’s hurled against women that he’s made over the years, the dozens of heinous accusations, and his admission that he’s attempting to sabotage the post office to disrupt the election, it’s hard to see how this little stunt will win him any goodwill with America’s women.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.