Signal boosting: Seeing myself in Trump

When the statues mocking Donald Trump were raised, they had unfortunate implications. Instead of arguing that Trump was a monster because of his actions (of which there are many to plunder), it made him a symbol of ridicule by representing a non-normative body. An old body, a cellulite body, an intersex body. Many people, myself included, weren’t particularly comfortable with the comparison. Trump is monstrous because he’s an asshole, a xenophobe, a racist, a rapist–not because an intersex body is in any way objectively immoral.

Chris Hall agrees with me.

At first, it was easy to laugh at the statues, because Donald Trump’s entire image is based on a blustering, ferocious masculinity that crumbles under the most superficial examination. Trump is, to my knowledge, the first serious presidential candidate who’s explicitly bragged about the size of his cock while on the campaign trail. I’ve seen other politicians do it symbolically by waving missiles, flagpoles, and rifles around, but Trump has been so brazen that it seems like an act of restraint on his part that he hasn’t actually suggested that the voters might like to go down on him. Maybe that comes later. Maybe he plans to include public fellatio as part of his presidential inauguration. Which, to be honest, might actually be an improvement on the traditional swearing in on the Bible. I can clearly say that I’ve always found oral sex a lot more enjoyable, enlightening, and genuinely moving than reading the Bible. On the other hand, none of my oral sex experiences have involved Donald Trump, a man who has raped at least one of his wives. I for one would like to keep it that way.So, at first glance, the statues, collectively titled “The Emperor Has No Balls,” seem to strike at the very heart of Trump’s brand.

But here’s the thing: Like I said before, there’s too much of me in that statue for me to laugh very long. There’s too much in that statue of too many people that I know or care about for the joke not to taste bitter and cruel after more than a few moments. While social justice movements have been working to build intersectional organizations and solutions, INDECLINE managed to come up with a perfect storm of intersectional cruelty.

Please consider this next time you mock Trump. It’s not like there’s a shortage of material there.