The presidential campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump has been controversial from the moment it began on June 16, 2015. During the announcement of his candidacy, Trump commented that Mexicans entering the country were, for the most part, drug dealers and rapists. The comments set off a firestorm of protests, yet Trump’s popularity with Republican voters only grew stronger and allowed him to capture the party’s nomination.
During the primary campaign and continuing into the general election cycle, Trump has also been verbally attacked for criticizing disabled people, former prisoners of war, Muslims and women. In the latter case, his past insulting references to women concerning their weight or looks has caused many to refer to him as a misogynist.
Evidence of that designation is presented by Trump’s prolific use of sites like Twitter. On one occasion, he indicated that if multiple mothers were in a group, they would be incapable of commenting on anything beyond diapers or pregnancy.
Trump’s dealings with women show that he’s currently married to his third wife, Melania, who he wed in 2005. His first marriage ended in divorce in the early 1990’s after stories emerged that he was in the midst of an affair with another woman, Marla Maples. He ended up marrying Maples in 1993, though that marriage also ended in divorce six years later.
While still married to Maples in 1997, Trump appeared on the Howard Stern radio program. In addition to discussing a variety of topics, Stern indicated that he had been a guest at the Trump-Maples nuptials. During the reception, Stern indicated that Trump had crudely discussed the costs involved with having a relationship with a woman.
As Trump sat in the studio, Stern noted that Trump had told him, “vagina is expensive.” The reference was related to the costs of a divorce settlement for wealthy individuals. In Trump’s case, it was connected to the costs to end his first marriage.
In that 1991 settlement, Trump agreed to give his ex-wife $14 million and the following properties: an apartment in Trump Plaza and a 45-room mansion in Greenwich, CT. In addition, she was given one month’s worth of access each year to a 118-room Florida mansion, Mar-a-Lago, and he was required to pay child support of $650,000 for his then-minor children.
At the time of that settlement, Trump’s finances were in severe disarray. Due to the possibility of him possibly filing for personal bankruptcy, she accepted those lesser terms after first attempting to bargain for half of his reported assets.
Though Trump’s wealth was inherited, his business dealings have allowed him to become a billionaire. That access to wealth has afforded him the chance to date many attractive women, with critics charging that his opinion of any woman is strictly based on her looks.
Those women that have criticized him have been on the receiving end of his insults. Fox host Megyn Kelly began the first Republican debate in August 2015 by citing some of Trump’s previous references to women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “bimbos” and other crude terms. In the ensuing weeks, Kelly was criticized by Trump, who inferred that the question was offered because Kelly was menstruating.
Following Trump’s first presidential debate against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on September 26, Trump was again facing charges of misogyny after his past criticisms of a former Miss Universe winner were brought up. In that case, Trump had purchased the pageant in the mid-1990’s and went on to criticize the 1996 winner, Alicia Machado, after she had gained over 40 pounds.