At last week's presidential debate, America’s working women got a front-row seat to Donald Trump’s sexism. He repeatedly interrupted Hillary Clinton, a phenomenon too many working women can relate to, and repeated his claims that she doesn’t have the "presidential look" it takes to lead the United States. It seems like every day a new story from Trump’s past reveals more misogyny. Take the latest story out of his golf club in Palos Verdes, Calif., where Trump urged staff to fire unattractive hostesses and only hire "beautiful women."
But it is his horrific, ongoing treatment of Alicia Machado that has captured and maintained our attention. After winning the Miss Universe title, Alicia endured cruel comments from Donald Trump on her appearance and ethnicity. Trump reportedly referred to her as "Miss Piggy" and, presumably because she's Venezuelan, "Miss Housekeeping."
Donald Trump has a long history of attacking women who dare to stand up to, criticize or go against his wishes. His latest smears are not only a direct assault on Latina women but also women who work as housekeepers, the majority of whom are women of color. By sneering "Miss Housekeeping" at Alicia, Trump displayed his ignorance and deep disrespect for housekeepers and the services they provide. If he is willing to be so public in his attacks against Alicia Machado, what does he say about his hotel employees?
Women who work in housekeeping clock long hours at a physically demanding job. On top of the strenuous work, too often housekeepers are subject to sexual harassment and assault by the guests at hotels they work so hard to maintain. In fact, female hotel employees across the country—from Seattle to Long Beach—have been taking a stand against the all-too-frequent sexual harassment they face on the job.
Instead of disparaging housekeepers as nothing more than a term to be used as an insult, Donald Trump should be thanking them for keeping his hotels running. But the women who work in his Las Vegas hotel know that Trump is not the least bit appreciative of their hard work, evidenced by his continued refusal to negotiate a union contract with them at his hotel. Trump has never had the best interests of working women in mind and these recent comments prove that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for women everywhere.