War on Women Report No. 22

The War on Women is in full force under the Trump administration. We refuse to go back, and we refuse to let the administration quietly dismantle the progress we’ve made. We are watching. 

This is the War on Women Report.

Erik Drost / Creative Commons

Last week

+ Last Friday, Bloomberg reported the Department of Homeland Security has developed a plan to monitor the public activities of hundreds of thousands media professionals, journalists and influencers. The plan is pretty much in line with the Trump administration’s war on American media and mission to attack and discredit journalists. It’s particularly concerning amid increasing threats and violence against journalists around the world.

Monday, 4/9

+ On Monday, the FBI raided President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen’s office to find information about fraudulent payments to Playboy playmate Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels, both of whom have come forward alleging extramarital affairs with Trump prior to his presidency. The FBI also reportedly sought information on whether Cohen was involved in trying to keep the notorious Access Hollywood from being released in October 2016. The infamous tapes featured Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.

Tuesday, 4/10

+ On Tuesday, as the U.S. observed Equal Pay Day, we were reminded of the Trump administration’s role in enabling and exacerbating the pay gap. Around the end of last year, the administration ended an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initiative started by the Obama administration that required employers to report the wages they offered men, women and people of color to the government to promote transparency. The repeal of the initiative was notably approved by Ivanka Trump, who has ironically been posing as a champion of women’s empowerment throughout her father’s time in office.

Wednesday, 4/11

+ On Wednesday, Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, questioned why Trump’s cabinet is “all white men” in an interview with Buzzfeed. “There are a lot of smart women that are very capable of making decisions,” she told the website. “One of the things I have said is women work incredibly hard, having a lot of good ideas, but there needs to be more than one woman in the room.” Trump’s cabinet is more stacked with white people and men than any cabinet in recent history—or, specifically, since former President Ronald Reagan’s administration from the ’80s.

+ The Senate held a confirmation hearing Wednesday for Wendy Vitter, a nominee for a federal judgeship in Louisiana. Vitter has gone on the record saying birth control pills lead to women suffering “violent deaths” and claiming Planned Parenthood “kills 150,000 females” every year. At the hearing, Vitter declined to answer questions of basic decency such as whether she supports the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision to end segregation. If appointed, Vitter would become a judge in a state that is already deeply hostile toward abortion rights.

Thursday, 4/12

+ On Thursday, President Trump said that he would announce what action he will take in Syria “fairly soon” in the wake of a chemical attack over the weekend. Defense Secretary James Mattis is reportedly warning the president against escalating U.S. involvement in Syria by going forward with an “aggressive bombing campaign” which he has been calling for. Trump has a long record of erratic and unpredictable foreign policy stances, but his decision about whether to call for air strikes in Syria will hold grave human rights implications—all while the president and his administration continue to take a hard line against welcoming more refugees from the region.



Kylie Cheung writes about reproductive and survivor justice, and is the author of Survivor Injustice: State-Sanctioned Abuse, Domestic Violence, and the Fight for Bodily Autonomy, available Aug. 15.