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Trump fans have a new woman to hate: rape accuser E. Jean Carroll. And some of them are positively gleeful

E Jean Carroll and the most famous man on her “Hideous Men” list

By David Futrelle

Trump’s fans have a new woman to hate. Yesterday, New York magazine published a lengthy story by author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll detailing a lifetime of run-ins with what she called her “Hideous Men” — the most famous one on her list being our current president, whom Carroll says assaulted, then raped her, in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room some two decades ago.

Though Carroll tells her stories with many darkly funny asides — she’s a humor writer who once won an Emmy for her work on Saturday Night Live — her account of the alleged rape is harrowing and very believable. She ends the story with an astonishing confession: she has not had sex a single time since her alleged encounter with Trump.

Naturally, Trump has denied the allegations, falsely asserting that he’d never even met Carroll (there’s a photo of the two together in Carroll’s piece).

But Trump’s fans seem less outraged by Carroll’s supposedly false allegations than gleeful at the chance to go after another “nasty woman,” as Trump likes to call any prominent woman who isn’t a fan of his. As the indomitable Talia Lavin noted on Twitter yesterday, “there are people among the president’s supporters who revel in his rape and cruelty to women.” And for them, Carroll’s accusations are simply another excuse for an orgy of their own cruelty.

Some of them are going after Carroll directly, responding to old tweets of hers with all the viciousness they can muster, many of their, er, arguments based on the premise that Carroll, a winner of numerous beauty pageants in her younger years, is and was simply too hideous to rape.

Just an attention whore looking to sell a book lolol. Get a f'n life lady. Even if Trump was the rapey type you think he'd go for this old ugly bag when he's banging supermodels
Laura Dion-Jones
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@ejeancarroll This is bullshit. Look at this dog. She’d be lucky if @realDonaldTrump looked at her twice & then waits 23 years to come forward? #WeBelieveSurvivors? Not when they’re liars. Just trying to sell books. #ShameOnYou #NiceTry #Trump2020LandslideVictoryBaby

Others made it plain that this new controversy is simply fodder for their larger goal of “owning the libs” and hopefully making them cry.

On Reddit’s ongoing Trump love-fest known as The Donald, the regulars have already launched (at last count) 30 separate threads on Carroll and her accusations, with several devoted entirely to the proposition that she’s too old and ugly to rape (she’s roughly the same age as Trump) and one to spreading a meme suggesting that Carroll is too tacky to shop at Bergdorf.

“Considering that Trump was dating hot ass Marla Maples at the time, this is bullshit,” one Donald-loving Redditor declared.

Did your see how absolutely fucking ugly the accuser is? Im pretty sure even bill Clinton wouldn’t of fucked her.

Others pushed the same, er, argument.

“Stormy Daniels I could maybe see him having an affair with,” one wrote. “This thing? He’s not blind and he doesn’t drink or do drugs.”

Still another added:

Funny how it’s always the pigs that like to bring this stuff up, and not the literal supermodels Trump spent years working with.

The cruelty shown towards Carroll is hardly surprising, coming from Trump fans, as this sort of bullying is basically the essence of Trump’s brand. As Atlantic writer Adam Serwer argued in a widely cited piece, for Trump and his fans, “the cruelty is the point.”

Or current president’s “only real, authentic pleasure,” Serwer noted,

is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear.

This cruelty comes out most obviously in Trump’s malevolent policies towards immigrants. But he’s just as much of a bully when it comes to mocking the women who have come forward to accuse him of sexual assault and sexual exploitation. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice,” he told his followers at one rally, referring to accuser Jessica Leeds. “When you looked at that horrible woman [on television] last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so.'” The crowd ate it up.

He later derided porn actress and producer Stormy Daniels, whom he had barely consensual sex with shortly after the birth of his youngest son, as “Horseface.” His fans quickly began pumping out the memes.

Yes, this conventionally attractive woman looks terrible if you replace her face with the head of a horse.

But the cruelty of Trump’s fans really went into overdrive after Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse not Trump but his supreme court nominee Bret Kavanaugh of attempted rape. After Trump, again at one of his rallies, mocked her less-than-perfect memory of an incident that happened nearly 40 years ago, his supporters cheered, and laughed, and began chanting “lock her up.”

As Serwer noted at the time,

Ford testified to the Senate … that one of the parts of the incident she remembered most was Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge laughing at her as Kavanaugh fumbled at her clothing. “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter,” Ford said, referring to the part of the brain that processes emotion and memory, “the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.” And then at Tuesday’s rally, the president made his supporters laugh at her.

Social media was quickly filled with insulting memes and other smears from Trump’s acolytes:

Anyone nostalgic for this particular campaign of misogynistic bullying and hate can still buy Kavanaugh-themed “I like beer!” novelty t-shirts on Amazon.

For Carroll, the attacks have just begun. Given that she’s not suing Trump, and won’t be testifying before congress about her experience, it’s highly unlikely that the campaign against her will ever reach the size or the sheer nastiness of the campaign against Ford, who had to go into hiding for her own safety after her moment in the spotlight.

But, as even the memes about her I’ve seen remind us, the attacks on her are part of a larger pattern. (The woman on the right is Carroll.)

In the Daily Beast, Molly-Jong Fast notes that Carroll’s allegations will ultimately fade into the political background with all the other allegations against him, and most politicians will likely conclude “that the American people have forgotten and moved on.” But, she adds in a hopeful finale, “women remember,” and will have the chance to act upon these memories at the ballot box in 2020.

The trouble is that not all of these women will be voting against Trump. If you look at those participating in the Carroll-trashing today, you’ll notice that more than a few of them are women, some of them as eager as the men to attack Carroll as a “dog” who’d be lucky to get a second glance from Trump. And this has been the case in all the campaigns against Trump’s (and Kavenaugh’s) accusers. (You may recall the woman wearing the “Trump can grab my pussy” t-shirt at one of his rallies; Jong-Fast even cites her case herself.)

Like their male counterparts, these women positively enjoy going after Trump’s many alleged victims. For many of Trump’s fans, if not the vast majority of them, his bullying isn’t a bug but a feature — and an open invitation for them to join in. This is the essence of what draws them, regardless of gender, to Trump.

“If you don’t understand by now that the sexual assaults Trump has committed make his base like him even more, I’m not sure what to tell you,” writer and BitchMedia cofounder Andi Zeisler wrote on Twitter yesterday.

We can only hope, along with Jong-Fast, that our anger at this cruelty can overpower the cruelty itself at the ballot box. Because if it can’t, this country may be beyond redemption.

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Bluecat
Bluecat
1 year ago

Good article David. I don’t know how you manage to trawl through this hideousness…

There’s a lot to be said for the theory that Trump’s hardcore fans don’t overlook or forgive him his racism, his mendacity, his misogyny: they like him for it.

However, there are also plenty of Republicans who know what he’s like, but accept it because they think he’ll give them what they want. Basically tax cuts.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@bluecat:

There’s a lot to be said for the theory that Trump’s hardcore fans don’t overlook or forgive him his racism, his mendacity, his misogyny: they like him for it.

I agree, I think there are a lot of trump supporters out there who are glad he behaves this way in public because it allows them even more space to do the same

tim gueguen
1 year ago

School bullies tend to have supporters, and Trump is just an adult version of one.

gijoel
gijoel
1 year ago

The saddest thing is that those women won’t get the justice they deserve. But that’s the reality of sexual assaults.

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 year ago

@Bluecat

However, there are also plenty of Republicans who know what he’s like, but accept it because they think he’ll give them what they want. Basically tax cuts to social programs that might help black people

They’re not a whit different, they’re just better at dogwhistles.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
1 year ago

I’m not really convinced that they got better at dogwhistles. If anything, I think they’ve gotten worse at it, but it’s been more effective, ironically both for the same reasons.

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
1 year ago

@ Impish Pepper,

Not dog whistles. Dog trumpets. Dog air-raid sirens.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

The dompster-fire-in-chief’s campaign was an unbroken string of invective, insult, and threats directed against everyone who isn’t HIM. The people who voted for him did so because they liked his bigotry. Any other explanation ignores the reality of what he says.

Bina
1 year ago

These people have some nerve, calling HER ugly. Have they looked into the mirror? Or that abyss they call their souls?

As usual, it’s all about the projection with these brainwashed fuckleheads.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

I saw the title and I said to myself lainy don’t read that. You’re gonna trigger yourself. But My curiosity got the best of me. Always listen to your inner voice people.

Mels
Mels
1 year ago

I’m just so fucking tired.

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

I look at these stories, about these women who are brave enough to speak out about what happened to them. I look at how they are subjected to an unending barrage of harassment because of it, while the shitstains of men who harmed them are granted even more power and influence and a complete lack of consequences.

I think about how many women will decide not to speak out in the future. How many of them see how speaking about this will destroy her life and do absolutely nothing to his.

I think about how many men will see this same messaging and be encouraged to brutalize women, confident that they too will not face any consequences.

I want to crawl into a hideaway from the world and never come out again.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

@ bluecat

However, there are also plenty of Republicans who know what he’s like, but accept it

And that knowledge and acceptance makes them despicable. Nothing is worth the message it sends women to have a proud rapist as president and supreme court justice. Many people have told me “not all Trump supporters are terrible people, you should try to get along, love thy neighbour, blah blah”, but they are. Even the ones that aren’t in-your-face horrific knew, and they didn’t care. As they say, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 year ago

I think about how many women will decide not to speak out in the future. How many of them see how speaking about this will destroy her life and do absolutely nothing to his.

And somehow supposedly reasonable people still insist that men are the real victims of accusations. Sometimes the line between ‘genuinely ignorant’ and ‘knowingly complicit’ gets really vague. OK, a lot of times.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

Isn’t this the same crowd that bleats piously about women needing to be “protected” (dogwhistlese: “from invading brown people”)?

These responses rip the lid off that crock.

It’s fascinating to watch Trump supporters getting angrier and angrier and angrier. You’d think they’d be happy. They “won”, all of their awful avatars are installed at the levers of power, and yet they’re still not satisfied. They never will be. All the cruelty in the world will never transform them into people of dignity and honor.

Because for all of their bullying and shittiness, they still crave our respect. Look at that Parkland kid who just got rescinded from Harvard for defacing a study document at his school with racist and sexist comments. He’s fighting tooth and nail to keep his admission status. Why, when Harvard is one of those bastions of brainwashed liberal SJWs that rightwingers love to sneer at? Why doesn’t he just shrug and move on to Liberty U? They’d welcome him with open arms.

Same with Donald Trump. It still rankles him that New York society rejected him as a vulgarian. It needles him that the “corrupt news media” doesn’t fawn and flatter him uncritically. Crowd sizes matter to him, but he’s never going to grow beyond his base.

Same with incels, MRAs, and MGTOW, who talk about nothing but women all day long. They spit on women, yet they can’t stop speculating (hilariously wrongly) about what women want. They want the validation of a hot girlfriend, yet it chaps their hides whenever women do anything to make themselves more attractive to men. They long to be loved, yet the only form of human bonding they’re capable of is kicking grieving families, bullying rape survivors, and fantasizing together about shooting sprees. Their thirst is never-ending.

Life doles out cruelty to everyone, sooner or later. It’s pretty monumentally stupid of them to wipe their rear ends with compassion for the sake of performative alphahood, or whatever ignorant wolfpack nonsense is driving them to act like five year olds on the playground. When something happens that knocks them off the top of the pyramid (and it always does, even if it’s just old age), all the nihilist edgelords they spent so much energy sucking up to are going to point and laugh.

These women are incredibly brave to tell their stories.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

Can’t find the words 2 express how spot on your response is so I’m going w/this: 👍👏👍👏 (2nd & 4th emojis are what I hope indicate applause. If not…boy, am I embarrassed).

I’ve always enjoyed your commentary & your sense of humor.
On a slightly lighter & related note, 4 the longest time, I read the last part of your nym as “Skillpants.”

Paging Dr. Freud…

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

And, yes, these women are beyond brave 2 take on this risk. They have my utmost respect.

Ellesar
Ellesar
1 year ago

One of the many disgusting aspects of this is the ‘too ugly to rape’ line. Like the early radical feminists said: ‘not beautiful, not ugly, just angry’.

I have no idea what this poor woman looks like, I just feel deeply sorry that that happened and now there will also be this fall out she will need to keep a low profile for a while.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

A society in free-fall… directed by a socially dominant minority who believe that reality can be changed by denying it exists….

“Nuh-UH” is more than just a valid argument… it’s now a national policy tool.

It’s way beyond SURREAL… we’re $22trillion in debt and that’s not even IN THE TOP FIVE of our most pressing issues. To quote Churchill… “We are fighting for survival – and losing.”

@ Mel’s:

I’m just so fucking tired.

I need that on a t-shirt…. 🙁

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
1 year ago

This is the world we live in now, and damn it if sometimes I think it’s not worth it. I’m so tired of all the fighting just to lose more slowly and it feels like “lose more slowly” is the best we’ve got these days.

dashapants
dashapants
1 year ago

Yep, that is the one good thing to come out of the Trump presidency. The warped, hideous, hateful creatures in human skin crawled right out of the woodwork for easy identification. No more wasted time giving validation to these fleshy crimes against humanity. These blobs of insecure cruelty are obvious to even the most cursory observer. They might be many and they might be dangerous, but at least I do not have to guess and can just mace them if they get too close.

I feel so awful for E. Jean tho. I’ve spoken to her and she is such a lovely lady. I do not know any of Trump’s other victims (except for every person in the street), but they did not deserve any of it either.

There will be a reckoning.

Shadowplay
1 year ago

@Cats In Shiny Hats

(Love the nym!!)

I feel the same way sometimes. Then I look at the horde (my not at all weary nickname for the grandkids. There’s 11 of them. I think.) and say “Fuck that.”

Amtep
Amtep
1 year ago

Take heart, though. There IS progress on women’s rights. It’s not fast, but it’s progress.

Check out the Global Gender Gap report: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Gender_Gap_Report

It’s a report that evaluates countries on four quantifiable factors of gender equality (economic opportunity, education, health, and political leadership). They’ve been compiling it yearly since 2006, and for nearly every country the score has been going up. There’s some backsliding, and in the US in particular there’s been backsliding since 2015, but if you compare with 2006 it’s still better now.

I know it’s not enough. I’m just saying there is hope.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
1 year ago

A society in free-fall… directed by a socially dominant minority who believe that reality can be changed by denying it exists….

Truth always triumphs in the end. Why? Because reality is objective whether we(all) like it or not. Trumpkins are running into the impenetrable concrete wall of cold hard facts.

SHAD0WRUN
SHAD0WRUN
1 year ago

It’s fascinating to watch Trump supporters getting angrier and angrier and angrier. You’d think they’d be happy. They “won”, all of their awful avatars are installed at the levers of power, and yet they’re still not satisfied. They never will be. All the cruelty in the world will never transform them into people of dignity and honor.

Because for all of their bullying and shittiness, they still crave our respect. Look at that Parkland kid who just got rescinded from Harvard for defacing a study document at his school with racist and sexist comments. He’s fighting tooth and nail to keep his admission status. Why, when Harvard is one of those bastions of brainwashed liberal SJWs that rightwingers love to sneer at? Why doesn’t he just shrug and move on to Liberty U? They’d welcome him with open arms.

Same with Donald Trump. It still rankles him that New York society rejected him as a vulgarian. It needles him that the “corrupt news media” doesn’t fawn and flatter him uncritically. Crowd sizes matter to him, but he’s never going to grow beyond his base.

They’re angry because they’re actually losing. Their dreams of absolute power over the new media, social media, the internet, and American society at large are hitting the impenetrable concrete wall of cold hard facts.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

So then I see on social media several of my lefty friends offering to run errands and run interference for people in the community who are in fear of I.C.E. storm troopers….

And I’m uplifted.

We will fight.

John the Drunkard
John the Drunkard
1 year ago

If Trump and Roy Moore can pull a majority of white female voters (as they already have) we’re in deep shit.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

@Amtep and Eddie

Thanks. <3 It's very hard to maintain momentum, but good news does help.

metoo
metoo
1 year ago

We should call them/ourselves *reporters”, “accusers” is the propaganda of the enemy & I dont notice it used with other crimes besides DV & SA much

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

@ObSidJag: aw, thanks for your kind words! You really brightened my day. <3

I like "Skillpants" as an alternate nym. It makes me think of a pair of yoga pants capably, and misandrously, repairing a sink.

@Battering Lamb:

And somehow supposedly reasonable people still insist that men are the real victims of accusations.

Even if one were to accept the apologists’ wild premise that it never happened and all these women are just making it up, the existence of Trump should forever discredit the idea that false accusations ruin men’s lives. He has – what, twenty accusers and counting? – and he’s the effing president. Not in spite of it, but because of it.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I like “Skillpants” as an alternate nym. It makes me think of a pair of yoga pants capably, and misandrously, repairing a sink.

Next thing you know, yoga pants will receive job promotions over the men who deserved them more!

Citerior Motive
Citerior Motive
1 year ago

Not that it’s even remotely the point, but Carroll is way more conventionally attractive than Trump is—or is attractiveness only a requirement for women?

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Citerior Motive:

Yes, according to these assholes’ logic, attractiveness is only a requirement for women. I had a guy explain to me once that it only matters if the guy is attracted to the woman because if he’s not he won’t get an erection, but women can have sex regardless of whether or not they actually like the guy. I tried to explain to him just how fucking unpleasant it can be to have sex with someone you’re not attracted to, especially how painful it can be. He just kept saying that couldn’t be possible.

It’s amazing how much more willing they are to listen to other men’s “theories” about women rather than actual women.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

@Buttercup Q. Skull/Skillpants: you’re quite welcome & it’s only turnabout fairplay as you’ve made me smile a number of times (as well as yell at my phone “damn straight–you tell ’em!”).

As for your image of yoga pants repairing a sink…bwa-hah-ha…now I have this image of the stereotypical fleshy plumber clad in said yoga pants, the material straining, bent over that sink.

The mind reels.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Citerior Motive:

Not that it’s even remotely the point, but Carroll is way more conventionally attractive than Trump is—or is attractiveness only a requirement for women?

Have you seen those Ben Garrison cartoons which portray Trump as an absolute hunk? Some people do seem to see him that way. And then there was that heavily mocked Dinesh D’Souza tweet the other day, where he posted a picture of Trump and Justin Trudeau together, and asked which is more masculine. Trump seems to have some sort of reality distortion field, at least for conservatives.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 year ago

@Moggie:
Well, if you define ‘masculinity’ purely by its toxic aspects, then of course Trump wins.

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
1 year ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

I like “Skillpants” as an alternate nym. It makes me think of a pair of yoga pants capably, and misandrously, repairing a sink.

I think “putting on one’s skillpants” could also make a nice variant on cracking one’s knuckles, etc, before doing a Thing: “Guess I’d better put on my skillpants and mock something up in InDesign.”

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
1 year ago

@Moon Custafer:
Or “put on one’s Big Girl/Boy Skillpants and deal with it” (whatever horrible thing “it” might be).