Donald Trump hardly has the most stellar track record with women. It began with public adultery in the 90s, continued with privately OK-ing sexual assault in 2005, and was topped by belittling a Hispanic Miss Universe candidate whom he deemed ‘overweight’.
Naturally, many are quick to dismiss Trump when he spouts that there: ‘has never been a better President for women’. While he is wrong about that, if you look at how his administration works you will see that he depends on strong women to keep him afloat.
You may be wondering what on earth this could mean?
Granted, three of the top positions in U.S. diplomacy are occupied by older white men — these being, the Presidency, the Vice-Presidency and the Secretary of State post.
Equally, Trump refuses to call himself a ‘feminist’ and operates a pro-life administration that aims to roll back the funding of Planned Parenthood. His public endorsements of candidates like Roy Moore only re-enforce the traditional patriarchal image.
So while Trump oversees one of the most conservative U.S. governments in modern history, how can it be that he is so undeniably dependent on women?
Four female figures are pivotal to the success of the Trump administration. Particularly, when the President makes mistake after mistake after mistake, he relies on them to pick up the pieces in various ways.
Fame-hungry Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, is a good place to start. While many of her replies to tough questions are nonsensical to the educated public, Conway is crucial to satisfying the Trump faithful.
She successfully provides right-wing networks like Fox with their sound-bytes to reassure Trump backers that everything is going fine. Regardless of whether that means she has to invent periods of history to do so (give the Bowling Green Massacre a Google), she is there to keep the Trump voter happy. And she does it in her own special way.
On the other hand you have the U.S.’ ‘real First Lady’ Ivanka. She is there to satisfy liberal-minded America that the administration is not completely full of far-right middle-aged white men.
Her insistence on improving discourse on topics like modern slavery and opportunities for women put her firmly on the left of the government. For liberals, Ivanka has become a sort of saving grace, particularly after her victory against Steve Bannon that led to his ejection from the frontline.
A more hidden figure, and key puppeteer of the ‘Trump image’, is 29-year-old Hope Hicks.
Elusive mastermind of communications, the President’s longest serving aide has attracted tabloid attention in the States, while managing to remain hidden from the rest of the world. You can read more on her here.
Perhaps with the hardest job of them all however is Sarah Sanders, the White House Press Secretary. Her job is to be hounded by journalists over the many pitfalls of the administration, particularly made by its Commander-in-Chief.
Regardless of the scenario she is put in, albeit with sometimes ‘lesser-quality’ answers, she manages to satisfy reporters with at least some sort of response.
In no way am I trying to say that Trump is a good president for the social promotion of women.
Personally, I deem the administration’s policies to be an unforgivable step backwards for the western world. Additionally, Trump’s past conduct should fill us all with concern.
What is worth attention however is how Trump, perhaps without even realising, depends on strong and opinionated women to keep his administration afloat. Without their dedication and willingness, the Trump dream that has activated forgotten America would have collapsed long ago.