Let 'Trump girls' do their thing

By Heidi Stevens

Chicago Tribune

June 27 was a banner day for women exercising agency over their own bodies: The Supreme Court struck down abortion clinic restrictions in Texas – and Trump girls broke the internet.

(I mean, they tried. I didn’t personally experience any slowdown in my usual internet service. You?)

Doesn’t matter. They made their point, which is that several hot women support Donald Trump for president. They snapped pictures of themselves in not much clothing, displaying symbols of their love for Trump (Make America Great Again hats, copies of his books, Trump Rump undies, etc.) and shared them on social media with the hashtag TrumpGirlsBreakTheInternet.

If sex appeal is your currency and you want to spend it trying to get Trump elected: You be you. I saw a whole lot of criticism that took aim at their intellect, but I think they’re pretty smart, to be honest. They’ve got this culture’s number. Taking your clothes off – most of them anyway – is the fastest way to send your cause trending.

Do I love that reality? No. Is it still the reality? Yes.

Does it mean conservatives don’t value smart women? No.

Remember Obama Girl? Model Amber Lee Ettinger, also wearing not much clothing, lip synced to “I Got A Crush on Obama” in a 2007 video that’s been viewed almost 27 million times on YouTube. It featured such lyrics as, “Universal Healthcare reform, it makes me warm. You tell the truth unlike the right. You can love, but you can fight. You can Barack me tonight.” She became a sensation overnight.

Welcome to the 2016 version. This time they’re Republicans.

I have a harder time imagining why a woman would support Trump than I do imagining why she would try to break the internet with that support.

He mercilessly mocks women’s looks when they disagree with him (or when they’re married to his opponents), and refers to women as “bimbo,” “dog” and “fat pig.”

He jokes about dating his own daughter.

He supports a ban on abortion and told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that women should be subject to “some kind of punishment” if they seek an abortion in spite of a ban.

He accused rival Hillary Clinton of playing “the woman’s card.”

He once told ABC News that his marriage to Ivana failed when she started to work outside the home. “I have days where I think it’s great,” he said. “And I have days where, if I come home – and I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist – but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I go through the roof.”

His immigration policies would tear apart countless families.

That stuff bugs me. It bugs a lot of women. Seven in 10 women have an unfavorable opinion of the guy, according to a recent Gallup poll.

But if you look at Trump’s track record and policy platforms and think, “He’s my guy,” then I wholeheartedly support your right to campaign for him however you see fit. Clothing optional.

If we’re going to celebrate a Supreme Court ruling that protects a woman’s right to control her own body, we can’t logically wring our hands over a group of women – that very same day – controlling what they do with theirs.

Stevens is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

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