Donald Trump’s comments to women in general and Megyn Kelly in particular have provoked the ire of both liberals and conservative alike. However, Daily Beast, USA Today, and Rolling Stone contributor Amanda Marcotte was quick to remind everyone that despite his unprecedented comments, Trump is, in terms of policy, actually among the least “anti-woman” Republican candidates. After all, he has the most liberal position on abortion.
The headline was “Donald Trump Isn't Even the Worst Misogynist in the 2016 Race: The bar is unbelievably low.” This is not to say that Marcotte is ignorant of Trump’s stated abortion positions:
Trump would like to ban abortion. He also says he would allow exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. He shouldn't get any cookies for this – he's turning a cold shoulder to millions of women who need abortions for financial or personal reasons. But that's how bad things are on the right: acknowledging that women who have been raped deserve access to abortion makes Trump less radical than the people he's running against for the Republican nomination.
From here Marcotte began to mock the other’ Republicans for their allegedly greater policy misogyny.
When recounting Mike Huckabee’s position that the 5th and 14th Amendment can be used to protect the unborn, she responded predictably. “Someone might want to tell Huckabee that those amendments, which grant the right of due process and equal treatment, are there to protect the human rights of people, not fetuses.”
Marco Rubio’s refusal to support the abortion of children for the crimes of their fathers was met with similar ire. “If you need an abortion because you can't afford a baby, you're in a bad relationship or you were raped, you're out of luck in Marco Rubio's America.”
Scott Walker’s insistence that there is always an alternative to abortion received the same tasteless mockery:
I'm sure Scott Walker, college dropout, can offer a better diagnosis and course of treatment to a sick pregnant woman than her OB-GYN. Without even examining her! It is true that you don't have to choose between the woman and the fetus in these cases. As Irish doctors did in the tragic Savita Halappanavar case, you could always let both die instead.
Marcotte concluded her piece with this lament. "Every Republican but Trump supports yanking federal funding for Planned Parenthood's non-abortion services like contraception, even though 99 percent of women will use contraception at some point in their lives. But somehow we're supposed to believe that Trump is the only real misogynist in the race."
It seems that Marcotte’s message for woman haters is that when it comes to misogyny, how one speaks to and treats women in everyday life is secondary to how much they support the “reproductive rights” of abortion and contraception.