Donald Trump and his surrogates have repeatedly tried to minimize his sexual assaults and his comments about his preferred approaches to assault or to gaslight the women who have accused the Republican presidential candidate.
“But we, the broader voting public, have social media to act as a continuous fact-check.” says Melissa Gira Grant, “we know reality. …The fear we face now, the one that will linger past November, isn’t that nobody can tell the difference. Our fear is that it doesn’t matter.”
Political historian Nicole Hemmer identified Trump’s behavior as “gaslighting” back in March, describing it as a sinister and effective form of abuse meant to destabilize the victim’s sanity through a deliberate manipulation of facts followed by a deliberate pretense that nothing is wrong.
Yet, to all who have been ignored, shunned and punished in our patriarchal system—for being an immigrant, a woman a dissenter— the revelations of this candidate’s violence and privilege, his hatred and entitlement are nothing new. The violence and hatred for something other have been there since our founding days.