Alicia Machado Responds Perfectly to Trump’s Slut-Shaming 101 “Sex Tape” Tweet
Listen, Donald Trump has said a lot of terrible things about women. He even publicly defended doing so during the first presidential debate. He then continued to defend it afterwards, claiming that somehow, because Alicia Machado was a Miss Universe winner, that justifies calling her “Miss Piggy” if she gains weight. Now, he’s tweeted that people should “check out” her “sex tape” (a yuge stretch), in order to discredit her, and demonstrated thoroughly that he thinks women should feel shame for their sexuality when it’s not there solely to benefit him.
Friends, that’s just textbook slut-shaming. Trump didn’t even try to hide what he was doing, asserting in another tweet that the bad things he said about her don’t matter because she’s not “a paragon of virtue.” (These tweets all came in the middle of the night, by the way, because apparently the idea of a woman in charge of her own sexuality and not feeling bad about it was keeping him up at night.) First of all, it doesn’t matter whether or not Machado made a sex tape. Let’s let that just stand on its own up front. Hillary Clinton brought her to the debate to help point out bad things Trump says about women, which has nothing to do with whether or not that woman made a sex tape—or anything else she might have done, because she’d still be a human being who deserves respect.
In addition, there’s nothing wrong or morally disqualifying about making a sex tape. A presidential candidate for the United States is literally trying to discredit a woman for doing something tons of people do in their normal lives. [UPDATE: Of course there wound up being something Trump has said to fill in the second half of this paragraph. As one of our intrepid commenters pointed out, Trump hypocritically has no problem watching people’s sex tapes, as The Daily Beast reported he watched Paris Hilton’s. He’d known Hilton since she was twelve, by the way, and the comments to that effect, also reported on The Daily Beast, are unsettling to say the least.]
All that’s bad enough completely on its own, but the specific facts of the situation make it even more disgusting for Trump to bring up. Claims of Machado’s “sex tape” stem from a scene filmed for a reality show called La Granja in 2005, in which Machado is supposedly having sex with a man in some grainy night-vision footage where they’re both covered by sheets. That, Donald Trump is not OK with, because it doesn’t serve his ends, I guess, but he was more than happy for Machado to participate in the Miss Universe pageant and use her looks for his benefit—until he didn’t like how much she weighed, of course.
To be absolutely clear, I don’t think Machado should be shamed for any of those things, but Donald Trump makes his position very clear as well: Women’s sexuality should exist entirely for his benefit, and anything else is worthy of shame and dismissal.
Machado, for her part, has responded perfectly to the attempts to smear her by Trump and others on the right who’ve grabbed onto this shame narrative:
“El candidato republicano y su equipo de campaña nuevamente están generando ataques, insultos e intentando revivir difamaciones y falsas acusaciones sobre mi vida. Todo eso con la finalidad de intimidarme, humillarme y desequilibrarme una vez más. Los ataques que han surgido son calumnias y mentiras baratas generadas con malas intenciones, que no tienen fundamento que han sido difundidas por medios amarillistas. Ésta, por supuesto, no es la primera vez que enfrento una situación así. Por medio de su campaña de odio, el candidato republicano insiste en desacreditar y desmoralizar a una mujer, lo que definitivamente es una de sus características más aterradoras. Con esto, busca distraer la atención de sus reales problemas y de su incapacidad para pretender ser el líder de este gran país. Cuando era apenas una jovencita, el ahora candidato, me humilló, me insultó, me irrespetó públicamente, como lo hacía usualmente de forma privada de la forma más cruel. Así como esto me pasó a mí, es claro a través de los años, que sus acciones y conductas se han repetido con otras mujeres durante décadas. Por lo tanto, seguiré de pie, compartiendo mi historia, mi apoyo absoluto a la señora Clinton en nombre de las mujeres, de mis hermanas, tías, abuelas, primas, amigas y la comunidad femenina. A mis latinas y en general, quiero agradecerles todo el apoyo, el amor y el respeto, a mi carrera, a mi persona como ser humano y a mi familia. Yo me hice ciudadana de este gran país porque aquí nació mi hija y porque quería ejercer todos mis derechos, entre ellos votar. Continuaré de pie, firme en mi experiencia vivida como Miss Universo y ustedes conmigo apoyándome. He estado tan complacida por tantas palabras amables, por tanto amor. Yo estoy centrándome en mi ocupada carrera, en mi labor de madre y voy a seguir dando pasos positivos para la comunidad latina, seguiré como activista en pro de los derechos de la mujer y el respeto que nos merecemos. Aprecio todo su amor y todo su apoyo nuevamente, gracias”. Miles de bendiciones.
Machado’s response, according to the Revelist, begins, “The Republican candidate and his campaign team are again generating attacks, insults and trying to revive slurs and false accusations about my life.” She continues that Trump simply tries to discredit women’s bad experiences with him, and he’s just using this to distract the American people from his own problems and how incapable he is to be the leader of this country. I’d guess another thing he’s trying to distract people from is the fact that his poll numbers are quickly reacting to his poor debate performance on Monday night. We can only hope that leaning into this particular controversy has more of a negative impact on Trump than his distraction tactics have in the past.
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