Well, this is awkward. The Republican National Convention, which kicked off in Cleveland, Monday, wanted to prove to the world that it doesn’t have a problem with female supporters. Oh no, presidential nominee Donald Trump has no problem getting women to support his candidacy. So the ‘Women For Trump’ event, that ran near the top of the Convention lineup, would of course be packed to the gills. Hordes of Trump-supporting women would be waiting around the block to get in. Right?
New Statesman journalist Laurie Penny was on hand to record the event. She wrote in Medium that it started “half an hour late when it became clear that no, nobody else was showing up.” She continued that
“there were, to my count, thirty-five people in the room. That included the six speakers, the organizers, volunteers and press.”
In the Medium article, Penny goes into detail about how, as soon as she tweeted the picture, conservatives on Twitter began blasting her, saying that it was fake, or that it had been taken before the event started. She replied on Twitter,
“um, no. It was taken a few mins after start time. It’s still going on. I’m here and it’s very empty.”
Donald Trump has said that there “has to be punishment” for women who get an abortion. His Vice Presidential nominee, Mike Pence, signed one of the most aggressive anti-abortion laws in the country. Trump has spewed litanies of misogynistic invective at accomplished conservative women who criticize him. He said Fox journalist Megyn Kelly was “bleeding from her wherever” because she asked him tough questions. Trump criticized the appearance of Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, weirdly comparing her attractiveness to Melania Trump’s as they headed into a heated primary battle in March.
There have always been Republican women, soccer moms who support conservative policies, and even women who support rolling back women’s reproductive rights. While one event at a Convention hall does not represent the country at large, it may represent a new development within the Republican party. Trump/Pence’s anti-women, anti-abortion policies and aggressively, piggishly misogynistic rhetoric may be too much even for the most conservative females. If the ladies won’t show up for Trump at the RNC, where will they show up for him?
Check Out Laurie Penny’s Tweet Pic Of The RNC’s ‘Women For Trump’ Event:
Turnout for Women For Trump event. The people in this picture are journalists and one media intern. #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/Xb1UNySw6J
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) July 18, 2016