Is Donald Trump really as sexist as he seems?
That’s the question on everyone’s minds after the Republican presidential frontrunner’s now-infamous speech on Tuesday evening, during which he accused Hillary Clinton of playing the “woman card.”
While it’s difficult for those who don’t know him to gauge whether Trump calling women names like pigs, dogs, and bimbos is genuine or purely for entertainment, one of his long-time former employees has some insight on the matter.
In an op-ed in The Guardian, Barbara Res writes about her experience working with Trump. Res worked with Trump for over a decade, starting as a VP at the Trump Organization and working her way up to EVP.
According to Res, Trump didn’t start out sexist. And at the beginning of his career, he was actually a champion of women. She writes:
The Trump I started working with in 1978 was very different from who he is today. He used to be deferential to women. He had tremendous respect for his mother and I think this influenced his treatment of women. He did not talk about them disparagingly. He did not discriminate against women in hiring.
Over the years, however, Trump changed, writes Res. “As Trump became more famous, his behavior towards women worsened. He started talking about movie stars who wanted to date him, even while he was still married.”
She attributes the change partially to his breakup with his ex-wife, Ivana Trump. “When his breakup happened, he bragged about being with so many women, it distracted him from his work. He boasted about newspaper headlines detailing his sex life. I heard him talk, for the first time, about women’s bodies.”
And talk about women’s bodies he does, as evidenced by his recent re-tweet of a meme about his wife, Melania, and Ted Cruz’s wife, Mary Pat, that read: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
No wonder Mary Pat Cruz couldn’t resist rolling her eyes during his speech on Tuesday.