I’d like you to imagine that you’re at a big wrestling match with all your friends. I mean, like all of them. Every person you’ve ever wanted to hang out with on some level is there with you, at the show.
You did not get good seats.
So there you are, you and a couple hundred buddies huddled together in the same section of the distant bleachers, a crowd of thousands sitting between you and the wrestlers on a remote stage. And your most hated wrestler comes on, so naturally you want him to know that he’s a scumbag. And you know this wrestler’s a notorious homophobe, so you scream out as loud as you can:
“YOU DIRTY, HORRIBLE F****T!”
Now. Pop quiz. Do you think it’s more likely that:
a) The wrestler will hear you?
b) Your gay friends will hear you?
If you answered anything other than “b,” you are an idiot.
But I see a lot of that with regards to Donald Trump – folks getting on social media to mock Donald for having dentures, or jeering about what a tiny dick he must have, or insulting him for any number of other physical handicaps he could not help having. (The bad toupee and spray-on tan, well, I’ll give that a pass, as he chose them.) And they’re out there really giving Donald a good shellacking, talking about what a doofus he looks like with no front teeth and a tiny cock…
And I wonder: You do know your friends can hear you, right?
Because Donald can’t. He’s got literally all of America yelling for his attention, a constant stream of Twitter-ats that you could never dream of, and the chance of Donald Trump hearing your extremely specific brand of bodyshaming is next to nil.
The chances that your friends are hearing your insults on social media, however, is pretty goddamned high.
And if those friends have dentures, or a tiny cock, or any of those other so-called deformities you gleefully mock Trump for, well, what you’ve just told them is “I’d mock you, too, if I thought I could get away with it.” You’re telling them, “You’re a freak and the only reason I don’t call you out for your teeth/cock/whatever is because I respect you.”
Yet I got news for ya – people with small cocks and no front teeth and baldness already get made fun of a lot. They can tune into any goddamned comedy show and find some moe taking a potshot at them. They’re told all the time by society how worthless they are for some physical condition they never asked for, and you rubbing it in is basically another long line of realizing that yeah, your so-called “friends” are sniggering behind your back.
Their response is probably, Thanks for the fuckin’ “respect,” pal.
“But wait,” you protest. “I’m not mocking Trump – I’m mocking Trump’s vanity. He’s very concerned about his appearance, so making fun of him isn’t saying everyone with no front teeth or a small cock is pathetic – I’m only saying it because it’ll hurt Trump!”
And I got one word for ya:
That’s the nickname Trump trots out whenever he wants to lay into Elizabeth Warren. He doesn’t really think less of Native Americans (inasmuch as he thinks about anybody, really), but he knows it irritates her to have her admittedly debatable heritage called into question – and if a couple of Native Americans happen to feel slighted along the way, then that’s worthwhile collateral damage as long as she’s irritated.
He’s not really concerned about her bloodline, he’s just, you know, saying whatever he thinks will vex her. And he does not give a shit about anyone else who gets dragged down in the process. And most of my liberal friends have been hand-flailing, saying that Trump’s smearing Native Americans to score a cheap point is far out of line.
But too many of them think it’s okay to smear their friends as long as it maybe, maybe, needles Trump a bit.
So heck, if you’re taking that approach, why not go with the stuff that’ll really get Der Trumpster’s goat? You know he’s terrified of having his heterosexuality called into question – why not call him a big, juicy f****t? Hell, he’s pro-white, he’d hate to be called the N-word! You know that would really work under that infamously-thin skin, so why stop at his teeth?
What’s that? Can’t do that, you say. There are lines, you say. And I say, “Fuck your lines.” If the only reason you’re willing to stand up for your buddies’ potential feelings is because you think they’re part of some protected group, and if “people with dentures” or “men born with smaller penises” or any other kind of traditionally-mockable feature don’t deserve your consideration, then you’re basically only nice to groups of people who won’t call your shit out on Facebook.
Except, alas, I know there are some people who do do that – the number of “Trump going down on Putin” jokes are legion. “I don’t think homosexuality demeans someone,” they’ll say. “I just know it hurts Trump to see him in what he would perceive as a demeaning position, so I’m going to tell the world this funny joke based off the idea that gay men are awful and blowjobs are degrading and hope you recognize that my bigotry is artisan.”
And if that’s your approach, then what the fuck is the difference between you and Trump except for your choice of target? You’re both schoolyard bullies with scorched-earth tactics, willing to propagate whatever inadvertent meanness you’re capable of so long as maybe it hurts your target.
Except remember: it doesn’t even do that. You’re out in the bleachers, doofus. At least when Trump starts calling people names, they’re guaranteed to hear what he said. You? You’re just some schmuck in the crowd, yelling in your friends’ ears. Unless you’re toting 100,000 friends on Twitter, your ego’s rivaling Trump’s to think that your every Facebook bon mot will be read, personally, by the goddamned president of the United States.
Now. This is where the inevitable me-defense comes up – as in, “Well, I have dentures, and I think it’s funny!” – and under normal circumstances I would go out of my way to point out that this isn’t about you, it’s about your friends who may never say anything to you because they’ve internalized this societal shame, and finding a single person who’s okay with a shitty joke doesn’t necessarily make it not-shitty….
But here’s the real point. The real goddamned point.
This is Trump.
Why do you have to make fun of his physicality when there’s so many other things he chose to do that you could mock him for?
If you’re opposed to Trump, it’s not because of his wig – it’s because he’s done things. Maybe you don’t like the way he’s let homophobic zealots take over the government, maybe you hate how he’s let Puerto Rico languish, maybe you despise how he’s worked hard to stoke the fires of anti-Muslim hatred. Like any President, if you’re opposed, you’ve got a million valid reasons to loathe what he’s done.
And you’re going after his dentures? His goddamned dentures?
That’s like walking into a museum devoted to the Holocaust and finding nothing but goofy pictures of Hitler’s mustache. You don’t have to bodyshame Trump. You’ve got a thousand better arrows in your fucking quiver. And picking on the dude’s dorky looks doesn’t do a goddamned thing to convince unswayed voters, because voters generally don’t vote based on the “looks derpiest” methodology.
Point out where he did wrong. Point out his intellectual failures, because while it’s no shame to be low on smarts, the man ran for President and claimed competency. Point out his shabby policies. Hell, point out that he likes his steak well-done, who the hell wants that?
(I have some dear friends who like their steaks well-done. I will mock them for that. It’s a choice, people, and a bad one. Step away.)
But aside from the spray-on tan – because he woke up one morning and chose that shade of orange – insulting Trump’s body for almost any reason doesn’t work. He doesn’t hear you. Your friends do. And when you go “I’m only making fun of fat people because he does it!”, contemplate the fact that people who do not pick up on your carefully-crafted irony take it at face value. Contemplate the fact that no biologically-born male woke up one day and chose to have a smaller penis, and your hipster body-shaming is propagating all the same values that Donald Trump himself loves – namely, that big dicks indicate competence and small dicks indicate inadequacy. (Whereas what it really represents is a biological marker that doesn’t make you any more or less capable.)
Sure. maybe you could, somehow, get across that careful and perhaps-nonexistent distinction of “I mock this because I feel it would bother him, not because I would think less of anyone who actually had this happen to them,” why fucking bother when there’s a billion other cheap shots to take that won’t potentially cause people you love with no teeth or small cocks or some other unchangeable similarity to Trump to cringe?
And maybe, in the end, it comes down to this: you think if someone was born with a smaller cock or bad teeth or thin hair, they genuinely deserve to be made fun of. You’re free to have that opinion, of course. Just as my opinion of you is that you’re a waste of human flesh.
As for the rest of you: The best way to make fun of Trump’s tiny penis is this: