Former US secretary of state and presidential candidate John Kerry is facing criticism for mocking president Trump by comparing him to a teenage girl.
During an interview promoting his memoir, Kerry said:
He’s the first president that I know of who spends more time reading his Twitter ‘likes’ than his briefing books or the Constitution of the United States
Discussing the effect of Trump’s lies on democracy, Kerry then asserted that Trump has “the insecurity of a teenage girl. It’s just who he is”.
While it is not unusual to criticise Trump, many have found the method of mocking Trump by comparing him to a girl distasteful.
When I was a teenage girl I was standing on picket lines asking grownups to support the United Farm Workers by not… https://t.co/Prx5y1EIIl
— THEE dr. emigre80 (@THEE dr. emigre80)
I’m disappointed John Kerry said Trump has the insecurity of a teenage girl. Trump is insecure, yes. But teenage gi… https://t.co/ZeFXvbMs9p
— Martha Brockenbrough INTO THE BLOODRED WOODS (@Martha Brockenbrough INTO THE BLOODRED WOODS)
Others have pointed out that girls often mature quicker than some boys, so the comparison is unfair.
Some also highlighted teenage girls who are doing incredible things to change the world, such as gun control activist Emma González and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
This is not the first time that the methods of criticising Trump have come under scrutiny. Members of the LGBT+ community have frequently complained at attempts to mock Trump by insinuating that they are in a gay relationships with other leaders, such as Russian president Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
In July, the New York Times faced criticism for portraying Trump and Putin in a “forbidden romance”.
In this episode of Trump Bites, Donald Trump’s not-so-secret admiration for Vladimir Putin plays out in a teenager’… https://t.co/kACP3w0Pxa
— New York Times Opinion (@New York Times Opinion)
HOMOPHOBIC JOKES: Come over
WOKE LIBERALS: I can't
HOMOPHOBIC JOKES: You can use the Trump/Putin meeting as a cover… https://t.co/JoEbccBwlF
These instances highlight that it is important to be mindful of the language that we use when criticising Trump. Even if well intentioned, some ways of calling Trump out or mocking him actually reinforce the prejudices and privileges that are associated with his presidency. It's easy to rebuke Trump's actions and policies without also mocking minorities - so let's focus on what really matters.