February 11, 2018

Perhaps it shouldn't be as triggering as it was to watch a mostly male panel of journalists try to make sense of Donald Trump's reaction to staff secretary Rob Porter's departure after allegations of domestic violence surfaced.

But it was. Because for anyone who has been involved in or a witness to an abusive relationship, it's hard to hear how great an abuser is at some aspect of their job and how it would be terrible to ruin their life for such a transgression. I mean, who cares if the abused's life is ruined? Why should a psyche in tatters, even after the bruises have healed, matter to someone who thinks that women should be arm candy and not respected?

But on Deadline: White House, host Nicolle Wallace and Bloomberg Business' Megan Murphy cut through the garbage to ask a pertinent question: Why don't all the women in the White House just walk out?

It's a valid question. We know that treating women as equals is not something that Trump even grasps. And for all of his talk of treating women with respect, Chief of Staff John Kelly seems flummoxed by the blowback. And all these high profile women--Ivanka Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, even Omarosa--not one of them has actually stood up for women in the face of this toxic masculinity.

And that matters. If they can't respect themselves enough to insist on the White House reflect a basic level of decency towards women, we risk normalizing it.

Donald Trump did not make it okay to be sexist and demeaning, just because he got into the White House through some fluke of the Electoral College (and/or Putin) after bragging about his sexual assault tendencies.

It's critical that the media framing these events remember that.

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