During the first presidential debate of this election season, Clinton caught Trump off guard by confronting him about his fat shaming insults towards Alicia Machado, reminding the audience that “he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’”After the debate, Trump followed up his point on Fox & Friends, saying, “She was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.” Trump did not deny making the comments during either event. He has held steadfast in his opinion that fat shaming is acceptable.
In response, Fox's Megyn Kelly recently invited former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie to her show. He voiced his opinion on the matter, stating: “I just really don’t see why the media is focusing on this when you have Hillary with Benghazi, emails, lying under oath, any number of things and we are just sitting here talking about this.”
Hillary Clinton’s involvement with Benghazi, the email scandal, and her lying under oath are legitimate problems.They might even be of greater concern than Donald Trump shaming a woman for not meeting his standards. The issue here is Higbie's dismissal of Trump’s offensive remarks due to other concerns. This nonsensical philosophy demands that we not waste our time talking about small issues if larger problems exist.
However, any problem can be made small if compared to another. A small problem, as small as it may be, is still a problem. It’s relation to other problems does not diminish its validity. It deserves to be discussed and resolved. No one claims that Donald Trump fat shaming a woman is the most pressing issue of all time. There are greater problems affecting the globe. But, those problems do not cancel out a presidential candidate reducing a woman’s worth to her weight.
The importance or immediacy of a problem is not only relevancy, but also subjectivity. To a mother who has just discovered her youngest child is riddled with a restless Leukemia, the Donald problem is trivial. She can list 100,000 other concerns before considering Trump's his demeaning commentary. However, to a teen girl in Ohio battling body image insecurities, this is a great concern. The man running for president sees her weight as a “real problem.”
A hybrid of Higbie's beliefs and Trump's comments has actually been seen time and time again over the years. It has been the underlying rebuttal of the anti-feminist movement for a long time.
“What does it matter if you get cat called — do you know how women get treated in Saudi Arabia?”
“You should feel lucky about the rights you have.”
“People are dying and you wan to talk to me how you might not make as much money as a man?”
Sexual assault, genetically modified food, anti-semitism, hate crimes against the transgender community, the Syrian Civil War, vandalism in public parks, healthcare, mass incarceration, public schools’ lack of funding for the arts, cybersecurity, and fracking are all problems. While some are bigger than others, they are all problems nevertheless. Time and human nature permit us to only focus on a few at once, but that does not excuse the rest of them. To say that this problem is irrelevant because another one is greater is a weak and false claim. We should not dismiss people’s issues because we are confronted by seemingly greater worries.