Monday, May 16, 2016

Donald Trump's troubles with women

The NY Times conducted interviews with dozens of women who described their experiences with Trump - as models, as business executives, and as girl friends. Here are snippets summarizing the results.

The New York Times interviewed dozens of women who had worked with or for Mr. Trump over the past four decades, in the worlds of real estate, modeling and pageants; women who had dated him or interacted with him socially; and women and men who had closely observed his conduct since his adolescence. In all, more than 50 interviews were conducted over the course of six weeks.

Their accounts — many relayed here in their own words — reveal unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct, according to the interviews, as well as court records and written recollections. The interactions occurred in his offices at Trump Tower, at his homes, at construction sites and backstage at beauty pageants. They appeared to be fleeting, unimportant moments to him, but they left lasting impressions on the women who experienced them.

What emerges from the interviews is a complex, at times contradictory portrait of a wealthy, well-known and provocative man and the women around him, one that defies simple categorization. Some women found him gracious and encouraging. He promoted several to the loftiest heights of his company, a daring move for a major real estate developer at the time.

He simultaneously nurtured women’s careers and mocked their physical appearance. “You like your candy,” he told an overweight female executive who oversaw the construction of his headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. He could be lewd one moment and gentlemanly the next.

Here are additional results.

With his purchase of the Miss Universe Organization, Mr. Trump was now in the business of young, beautiful women.

They craved his advice and approval, a fact he seemed to understand well.

And the Times reports that Trump acted on those cravings by physical interactions, kissing the models for example.

And Trump engaged in "kiss and tell."

Mr. Trump was not just fixated on the appearance of the women around him. He possessed an almost compulsive need to talk about it.

[For example:]Mr. Trump frequently sought assurances — at times from strangers — that the women in his life were beautiful. During the 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant, he sat in the audience as his teenage daughter, Ivanka, helped to host the event from onstage. He turned to Brook Antoinette Mahealani Lee, Miss Universe at the time, and asked for her opinion of his daughter’s body.

“ ‘Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?’ ” Ms. Lee recalled him saying. ‘I was like, ‘Really?’ That’s just weird. She was 16. That’s creepy.”

He liked to brag about his sexual prowess and his desirability as a date, no matter who was around.

True, Trump did elevate women to positions of importance within his organization. However ...

To women who had climbed to positions of power outside his company, Mr. Trump’s behavior could feel like a jarring throwback.

Alair A. Townsend was for a time the highest-ranking woman inside New York’s City Hall during the Koch administration, with the title of deputy mayor for economic development. But when Mr. Trump called her, she said, her position seemed less relevant to him than her gender.

He was dismissive. It was always, “Hon,” “Dear.” Things he wouldn’t have said to a man. It was designed to make you feel small. And he did that repeatedly.

It was an unthinking habit when he interacted with women, colleagues said. “At Trump Tower,” said Ms. Res, his longtime colleague, “he called me Honey Bunch.”

But Trump defends his record on women.

Mr. Trump says the world misunderstands his relationship with women.

He sees himself as a promoter of women — a man whose business deals, like the purchase of the struggling Miss Universe pageant, have given them untold opportunities for employment and advancement. “Hundreds and hundreds of women, thousands of women, are the better for it,” he said.

But when Mr. Trump lost confidence in women, he could inflict lasting damage on their lives.

After Alicia Machado won the 1996 Miss Universe title, something very human happened: She gained weight. Mr. Trump did not keep his critique of her changing body quiet — he publicly shamed her, she said.

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