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How Donald Trump's Insults Affect Me As a Woman With a Disability

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Disability, race, weight, looks – lately we have heard insults being hurled with abandon. No, not from schoolyard bullies, not from the mean girl at work, not from the snarky “sort of” friend – but from Donald Trump, the possible future leader of our country. The possible role model to our children. The person potentially responsible for protecting our rights and freedoms without discrimination.

Maybe I am too sensitive. Maybe I shouldn’t let someone’s words affect me so greatly. But how can I not? I am offended and I am hurt.

I shouldn’t have to wonder what Donald Trump would think if he saw me walking down the street – an overweight woman sometimes walking with a limp, sometimes with a cane and often with messy hair and wearing pajama pants because I just couldn’t muster the energy to do much else. Would he think I was disgusting, or a lazy 300-lb. woman that sits behind my computer screen all day? Or, would he see me as a beautiful woman who has gained over 100 pounds because of my medical issues, a wife who’s husband adores her, a mother who struggles every day to take care of my toddler son through no fault of my own? Sadly, I think I know based on words from his own mouth that he would not think very highly of me.

I have generally held myself in pretty high esteem, and the words I have heard come out of Mr. Trump’s mouth have angered me more than hurt my self-esteem. But what about the young women who are already susceptible to self-esteem issues, the children with disabilities who deserve to be respected and protected? His words are disrespectful, they are uncalled for and I believe they show a lot about his character.

Many schools today have zero tolerance bullying policies – children can be suspended or expelled for bullying. But it is OK for a presidential candidate to bully? I don’t think so.

I know both candidates have their flaws. But this blatant disrespect for people who don’t meet his “standards” definitely needs to be a part of the discussion. A candidate for President is supposed to represent all of us, equally.

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Originally published: October 17, 2016
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