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Hey Trump, Changing Diapers Isn't 'Women's Work'

Photograph by Getty Images/Blend Images

Considering the one man war on women that has constituted Donald Trump's political campaign, it shouldn't be surprising that Trump has ideas about gender roles that make the Duggars look like radical feminists by comparison. Given Trump's propensity for vomiting forth whatever diseased thought happens to be rattling around in that nightmarish brain of his, it's also not surprising that Trump has been exceedingly vocal in articulating his intensely backwards ideas about gender and parenting.

Trump has never been one to apologize for his many shortcomings when he can brag about them instead. And he definitely doesn't seem familiar with the concept of shame. So instead of feeling bad about being the kind of dad who substitutes a trust fund for emotional engagement and a genuine emotional relationship, he bragged in a 2005 interview with Opie & Anthony that he does not change diapers, and that he sees that as a woman's role in a marriage.

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To Trump, a father's responsibilities begin and end with providing for their child financially, which is just a little bit easier for him than it would be for, say, the many poor and non-white people he's trying to kick out of the country.

He went on to pontificate, "There's a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife, and you know, there's a lot of husbands that listen to that." In a Howard Stern interview the same year, Trump said of Marla Maples, the mother of his daughter Tiffany, "[Marla] used to say, 'I can't believe your'e not walking Tiffany down the street, you know, in a carriage. Right, I'm gonna be walking down Fifth Avenue with a baby in a carriage. It just doesn't work."

As a dad who proudly changes his son's diapers, I don't need feel the need to prove my manliness to Donald Trump and people who think like him.

No, actually, a father playing some role in the physical raising of their children (and not just writing checks and glancing briefly at report cards) does in fact work, and work spectacularly well. Hell, that is what we as a society should not only expect of fathers, but angrily demand as well. It's just not acceptable to write off changing diapers and walking children and pushing strollers as women's work.

And it's not just insulting to women. It's also insulting to men because it implies that dads who actually participate in the raising of their children are less manly than the kind who just brings home a paycheck and calls it a day. As a dad who proudly changes his son's diapers, I don't need feel the need to prove my manliness to Donald Trump and people who think like him. No, it's him who needs to prove his decency not just to me but to a country that has elevated him to a level of importance and significance that now seems insane and potentially disastrous.

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Trump isn't right for moms, he's not right for dads and he's not right for America. Hell, I suspect a Trump presidency would even be disastrous for Trump, who I think loves the ego boost that comes with being a serious contender for President but probably would find the responsibility of actually having to serve the American people he holds in such disdain to be as distasteful and beneath him as changing his daughter's diapers.

Yes, some of Trump's chauvinism can be attributed to his advanced age. Men of his generation simply weren't expected to be hands-on dads like fathers of my generation are. His ideas about parenting and gender roles clearly belong to an earlier era. Hopefully when Trump is decisively defeated in November by a working mother, we will be aggressively rejecting Trump's intense sexism and backwards ideas about parenting in addition to his many other fatal flaws.

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