Keeping Score: Holding Trump “Accountable” for Our Country’s “Deep Divide”

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

Lest We Forget

+ “And you know what else? I’m also getting your husbands—they want to get back to work, right? They want to get back to work. We’re getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it.”

—President Donald Trump at a rally in Michigan.

+ “To live together and work together. That’s how I see America. That’s how I see the presidency, and that’s how I see the future.”

—Former Vice President Joe Biden on the campaign trail.

AOC, September 2019. (Victoria Pickering)

+ “Beauty is seen as the only legitimate capital that women are allowed possess. But beauty is supposed to serve power’s interests. When beauty occurs in an ‘unruly body’, such as a non-white person’s body, then it is an existential threat. I believe the right’s attacks on AOC (and a few of the left’s to be honest) is a visceral reaction to their inability to control what they see is her only legitimate source of power. They hate her because she is pretty.”

— Tressie McMillan Cottom in her piece “AOC’s Attractiveness Drives Us All Mad,” which speculates on why the young politician has become such a target by the right-wing media.

+ “When you get this disease, it hits you how easy it is to prevent. We are asked to wear cloth over our mouth and nose, wash our hands and avoid crowds. These minor inconveniences can save your life, your neighbors and the economy. Seldom has so little been asked for so much benefit. Yet the message will be broadly heeded only if it is consistently and honestly delivered by the media, religious leaders, sports figures and public servants. Those in positions of authority have a duty to get the message out.”

—Former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, reflecting on his experience recovering from COVID-19.

+ “President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful.”

—Jared Kushner on Fox News, Oct. 26.

+ “I am not surprised. I have watched the president wedge a deeper divide in our country; refuse to denounce white supremacists on a national debate stage; and launch cruel, adolescent attacks on women like Senator Kamala Harris and public-health leaders like Anthony Fauci. And while I won’t let anything distract me from doing my job as governor, I will not stand back and let the president, or anyone else, put my colleagues and fellow Americans in danger without holding him accountable.”

—Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in an op-ed for The Atlantic.

Trump Attacks Michigan Gov. Whitmer After His Supporters Conspire to Kidnap Her
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan)

+ “My generation is lucky because we get to engage in the world that my grandmother, and others alongside her and before her, established. Many of the things that she was fighting for are givens for me and my generation. And so we can think beyond that and think about how much further we can push.”

—Clara Spera, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter, in an interview with Intelligencer.

+ “I’m sick and tired of voter suppression. Sick and tired of nonstop efforts to silence Black and brown voices. Sick and tired of efforts to silence our protest. Sick and tired of efforts to quash rights that lie at the heart of our democracy. That’s what I think of. I am sick and tired of it all, and as a civil rights lawyer I fight each and every day to use the tools that we have in our arsenal to make sure that we are lifting up those rights, that we are preserving those rights so that Black and brown people can have the voice they deserve to have in our democracy.”

—Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, on last week’s episode of “On the Issues with Michele Goodwin.”

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+ Trump appointee Amy Coney Barrett, a staunch religious conservative, was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. The new nominee is expected to rule against social programs, reproductive freedom and LGBTQ+ rights. She was nominated by a president who lost the popular vote, and confirmed by senators who do not represent a majority of Americans.

President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during Day 1 of her confirmation hearings. (Screenshot from C-SPAN)

+ Austin Quinn-Davidson has become the first woman and openly LGBTQ mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, following former mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s resignation.

Austin Quinn-Davidson taking the oath of office on Oct. 23. (@MayorAQD / Twitter)

+ Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM—a purported self-help company that tortured multiple women and has been called a “sex cult”—has been sentenced to 120 years in prison. The #MeToo movement played a large role in the cult’s takedown.

+ A new documentary, Francesco, affirms Pope Francis’s support for same-sex couples. In the same documentary, he calls Trump’s child separation policy “cruelty of the high form.”

+ House Democrats Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Tony Cardenas (Calif.) and Mary Gay Scanlon (Pa.) introduced legislation setting aside funds to commission mental health professionals to respond to select 911 calls. 

+ U.S. Army officials concluded that Specialist Vanessa Guillen’s death was considered “in the line of duty.” While far from serving justice, this designation entitles her family to Army benefits and aid for funeral expenses.

+ In records obtained from the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, immigrant women describe being forced into “medically unnecessary” procedures, including sterilizations.

+ The #MeToo movement is gaining sudden traction in Iran, where 13 women accused renowned artist Aydin Aghdashloo of sexual misconduct. 

+ Poland tightened already-strict abortion restrictions, ruling that women will no longer be able to end pregnancies involving fetal abnormalities. Abortions will only be legal in instances of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s health. Feminists in several Polish cities are demonstrating against the decision.

(dagmara @bloodyforswift / Twitter)

+ Platforms such as Facebook and PayPal are allowing users to make monetary contributions to hate groups through their technology, despite policies aimed at preventing such misuse.

+ Women on a Qatar Airways flight headed to Australia were invasively strip-searched and tested after a newborn baby was found abandoned in a bathroom at Hamad International Airport. The Australian government has condemned what took place in Doha.

+ Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in Japan by 2050.

+ Protesters clashed with police in Philadelphia after Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, was killed by a police officer.

+ Oct. 29 marked Latina Equal Pay Day, the day when Hispanic and Latina women’s earnings ‘catch up’ to non-Hispanic white men’s earnings from the previous year—given that Latina women make 55 cents to the white man’s dollar. 

+ In just ten months, 2020 gun sales have already reached 17 million in the U.S., more than any other year. Buyers were reportedly motivated by widespread protests and political tension leading up to the election.

+ The Justice Department has effectively ended its investigation of the Cleveland police officer who shot Tamir Rice in 2014. 

+ Louisville Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly filed a lawsuit against Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. On the night Taylor was murdered, Walker fired a shot that hit Mattingly’s leg. The civil suit is on the basis of alleged “severe trauma, mental anguish, and emotional distress.”

+ A corner of the Flaminio Cemetery in Rome, Italy, is displaying crosses over buried fetal tissue from abortions, labeled with the names of the women who had the procedures. While the burials are technically legal, the women’s right to privacy was unlawfully infringed upon.

“It was like a public message to let everybody know not only what I did, but that I also wasn’t a good mother and I abandoned it, charging someone else with the responsibility to bury it,” said one of the women.

+ Legendary female athletes Megan Rapinoe, of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, and Sue Bird, of the WNBA, are engaged.

(@mrapinoe / Instagram)

How We’re Doing

+ Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has been digitally targeted with four times as much misinformation as other candidates. Many of the allegations had to do with her ethnic identity or citizenship status.

Kamala Harris has been digitally targeted with four times as much misinformation as other candidates. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

+ Seventy-seven percent of voters say the stakes are higher in the 2020 election than in other years.

+ Women voters are 20 percent more likely than men to rely on early voting. 

+ Half of the men in a Public Religion Research Institute study believe that “society punishes men for being men.” Forty-seven percent of men think “society has become too feminine.”

+ Seventy-five percent of Indian women workers reported experiencing domestic violence. Ninety percent of those women said domestic violence hindered their ability to work.

+ Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found that 40 percent of study participants believed at least some portion of the QAnon conspiracy movement could be true. Some elements of the far-right conspiracy theory include:

  • The world is run by a deep state of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.
  • High-profile Democrats and celebrities engage in cannibalism, as children’s blood contains life-extending chemicals (a theory that has its basis in anti-Semitic mythology)
  • Donald Trump is breaking up child sex trafficking rings.

+ White-supremacy-fueled hate crimes increased by 38 percent this year in Los Angeles. Hate crimes against transgender people jumped 64 percent — making 2020 the deadliest year for trans people on record.

+ The media is less likely to report on homicides that occur in predominantly Black neighborhoods than those in predominantly White neighborhoods, a new study found.

+ Trump’s re-election rallies have so far resulted in 30,000 COVID cases and 700 deaths, a Stanford study estimates.

+ Economist Dana Peterson finds racial bias has caused a projected loss of $16 trillion in economic output over the last 20 years.

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About and

Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a junior at Tufts University studying sociology and community health. She is a Ms. contributing writer, and was formerly an editorial fellow, research fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.
Sarah Montgomery is a senior at USC. She is passionate about using writing as a tool for social change. Her Starbucks beverage of choice is the iced skinny vanilla latte—personal cup and reusable straw, of course.