As Mark and the betting markets amply demonstrated, Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump last night. Whatever else happens, it’s great that young people had the opportunity to see a professional woman take on a bombastic, powerful man–and clean his clock when the stakes could hardly be higher. She was smarter, tougher, better-prepared.
One moment really struck me. Clinton noted the fact that Trump had called Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, “Miss Piggy,” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Of course the “Miss Piggy” comment attracts greatest attention. Trump didn’t like that Ms. Machado had gained some weight.
His “Miss Housekeeping” comment hit me harder. It is, at-once, a sexist slur directed at Latina women and a revolting display of Trump’s disdain for the dignity of difficult work.
I do a lot of business travel. I once ran across a young woman who was working as a hotel maid. Her young daughter tagged along as the woman cleaned the rooms. Maybe there was no school that day or something. That’s real life for millions of people. Housekeepers work hard, for pretty low wages, in a not-always-pleasant occupation. People do this work to support themselves and feed their families. I overheard one woman working a similarly tough occupation tell a co-worker, “I don’t work for my boss. I work for my kids.” Millions of women do.
When I worked for a short while as a janitor, I received a small taste of the difficulty and the deceptively fast pace of the work required to clean up after others. Such work allows University of Chicago professors to enjoy our conference trips. It allows casino resort owners such as Donald Trump to make a living. To disparage their work disgusts me. Many of these women contribute more to this world than Donald Trump currently is doing. They may pay higher taxes, too.