Shame the policy not the body
In the Bible I talk a little about Ilma Gore's painting of trump, depicting him as the bearer of a small penis and, of course, why it's wrong to regress to such playground slurs when the very thing we're fighting is bigotry.
But that was before trump was actually elected president of the US.
Now, in less than half a second Google will turn up over 2 million hits for the search term "trump small penis" and twitter is awash with such tweets daily.
The strength of feeling is, understandably although misguidedly, running high.
So much so, that when I published this little reminder I got a particularly strong backlash that's worth considering in more detail:
Without singling people out, the essence of the response was:
…It is ironic satire. These people need to be laughed at, but I accept that it is unfortunate for others who feel unfairly targeted by these type of jokes…but…there is nothing more cathartic than to laugh at them…I'm with you that people shouldn't be body-shamed when they've done nothing to deserve having the piss taken out of them…
There are two very wrong ideas here:
It doesn't matter that some people are made to feel even more wretched about their perceived failings, so long as the greater evil is attacked
That it's okay to body-shame when you detest the person in question
I believe myself, that the point of living together in a structured society, is to make all of us stronger by offering strength to the vulnerable. We cannot, or should not, sacrifice the few for some perceived greater good.
But more than that; we cannot fight bigotry with bigotry and expect to win anything. It is the lack of respect, of basic human compassion, which drives division and allows a person like trump to take such office. The best case scenario is that such tactics can shame a person from office – but by perpetuating bigotry of any form this path just leads us from one despicable leader to the next until we wake up to find ourselves faced with the shameless. Until we find a 'leader' who will leach upon all of the prejudice and division we have been supporting and who will feel no shame no matter what we throw at them. In fact, a leader like trump.
We cannot fight fire with fire. We have to starve that fire of its fuel, the fuel of prejudice.
We have to take responsibility for allowing trump to seize power. It is easier to believe that he is a monster, a man enraged by his supposed deficiencies than to accept he is an expression of the times. Trump, is meaningless. His cock is irrelevant. He's nothing but the latest expression of the worst of who we are and we can only defeat him by being the best of who we can be.
Don't blame the man and his biology, blame the times and our collective prejudice.
You can read more about Universal Respect throughout The Small Penis Bible