In one of my classes recently we discussed the idea of the pornified lens that presidential candidates are seen through. I honestly had little to no idea of what this actually meant and was intrigued to learn more. The original idea of the pornogrpahic frame came about in 2008 and basically explains that when pornogrpahic metaphors are used on women candidates, it shows that there is still a major cultural stereotype against women in power. Specifically, we talked about how President Trump was framed in a pornographic lense regarding his multiple sexual allegations and evidence against him. Instead of being viewed as a bad thing and hurting his campaign, the pornographic lens brought out the idea of hypermasculinity that is still in our government.
For example, in 2016 a pre-recorded tape was released of Trump where listeners could hear him claiming he was going to take advantage of women and touch their private parts. Other members of the republican party, such as previous presidential candidate Mitt Romney, responded to the media with disgust. Additionally, other individuals withdrew their money from Trump’s campaign. Despite all of this, nothing really happened to Trump and his progress in the presidential candidacy.
The reasoning behind this can be attributed to some of his followers seeing his sexist behaviors and viewing that as him exerting his power. His vulgar actions and sexist language were viewed as being masculine and having the traits for a leader. He didn’t even have to justify actions or even try that hard, because some of his audience did not see anything wrong with having a hypermasculine, aggressive, leader. Looking at it from a feminist perspective, if this were a woman she would have been asked to resign from the campaign most likely.
This is just one of many examples of how present hypermasculinity is in the U.S. democracy and how many people are willing to support the continuation of it. On the other hand, I am not sure if there is a solution to this problem. People continue to support this behavior and nothing is really done about it.