A century after our foremothers won the right to vote, days are dark for American women. We’re losing our jobs at disproportionately high rates. The wage gap still exists, people keep asking if the Me Too movement has gone too far, and we just spent several months watching the only political party with a commitment to our basic human rights treat the vice-presidential selection process like it’s a season of The Bachelor. And what a ticket it is! Joe Biden sniffs women’s hair and still hasn’t apologized to Anita Hill for, well, anything. Kamala Harris does not sniff hair, but she did deny lifesaving surgery to incarcerated trans women while she was the Attorney General of California.
Congratulations to us.
But leave it to Donald Trump to remind us all that the alternative remains unthinkable. There are many reasons to fear a second Trump term, especially if you are a woman. He’d get four more years to appoint anti-abortion judges, to destroy families at the southern border, to smear the dozens of women who have accused him of sexual assault. He could force even more of us into poverty while the Christian nationalists he surrounds himself with pride themselves on finally driving us back into our kitchens. He might also build this fucking statue.
Who knows what inspired him. Maybe someone reminded him that he’s doing poorly with women voters and he decided it was time for a public show of support. Anything that doesn’t require real effort or personal introspection. The man loves a statue, especially if it is of a Confederate general. He wants to fill the Rose Garden with his own, unique statuary, so perhaps this new lady monument is part of his plan. Unfortunately, the president’s tweets inspire a certain vulgar curiosity. What exactly will this statue look like? Will it show a specific woman, or one big, fantasy woman meant to represent us all? Does the president have a giantess fetish? The possibilities are almost too terrible to contemplate but I will try anyway. For content, and for the glory of God. Below, the theoretical outcomes.
The Butter Cow, But It’s Ivanka
A cow that is also butter, what could be more American? This object is popular with people who go to the Iowa State Fair and with reporters who like to make infrastructure week jokes on Twitter.
Here is another regrettable fact. The moment I saw Trump’s statue tweets I thought of the butter cow, and I thought of Ivanka Trump, and I thought, Oh no. Look, this statue is going to be bad! And bad statues always look like the butter cow to me. There’s something soft and unsettling about them, and Trump’s fixation on his eldest daughter sets us up for something hair-raising. I’m sorry!
Does Trump know who Phyllis Schlafly is? Probably not. But the people he surrounds himself with probably do, and they could probably convince him to do this. She also satisfies other criteria important to Trump. The founder of Eagle Forum and slayer of the Equal Rights Amendment was white. She was conservative, she hated other women, and she endorsed Trump. Building a Schlafly statue would also piss off the liberals, an outcome he values. The argument writes itself.
If you believe Trump’s niece, Mary, the woman who unleashed the future president on an unsuspecting world didn’t like him very much. She didn’t show much affectionate and reportedly found delight in his absence after she sent him to boarding school. Though he’s praised her repeatedly, they were reportedly not very close. Nevertheless, I believe a Mary Trump statue is possible, if only because the president is a narcissist. She is half him, and since he cannot build a girlboss statue to himself, erecting one that looks like his mother would be the next best thing. It’s also a classic dictator move, building statues to relatives, so why not?
Generic White Woman
Probably the most realistic outcome here is that we will get a vague statue of a nice white lady. Trump’s recent obsession with protecting the “suburban housewife” from (nonwhite) poor people invading her neighborhood suggests as much. Maybe she’ll hold a soccer ball, or a child’s hand. The picture is coming together. She has just come from a school-board meeting and she told those officials that Addison’s school absolutely does not need to be integrated, no sir, local schools for local kids. Maybe there will be a minivan?