Anna Sheffer
October 11, 2018 1:31 pm

In April, Kanye West appalled many fans with his ringing endorsement of Donald Trump under the guise of “free thought.” Since then, the rapper has continued to court controversy, frequently wearing a red MAGA hat and even saying that slavery was “a choice.” Today, October 11th, Kanye’s support for President Donald Trump was on full display when the two met at the White House. During the meeting, the rapper said that a desire for “male energy” led him to support Trump.

Sitting across from the president in the Oval Office, NBC News reports that Kanye delivered a 10-minute speech about everything from mental illness to his MAGA hat, which he said gives him “power.” In a portion of the speech, filmed by Politico, the rapper told Trump that because his parents had separated when he was young, there was a lack of “male energy” in his home growing up. He further acknowledged that as the husband of Kim Kardashian, he’s now part of a family with “not a lot of male energy going on.”

Ye then seemed to connect this idea to the 2016 presidential election, saying that Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t make him feel masculine.

The notion that voting for a woman just didn’t “feel” right—regardless of Clinton’s experience, expertise, and platforms—is sexism in its most blatant form. And many Twitter users were quick to point out Kanye’s problematic comment.

It’s worth remembering exactly what the “male energy” in Trump’s campaign entailed: The then-candidate mocked a disabled reporter and claimed that Mexico was sending “rapists.” In October 2016, a leaked tape from Access Hollywood showed Trump bragging that he could “grab [women] by the pussy,” which he later wrote off as “locker room talk.” And at least 16 women have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against the president, according to ABC News.

The fact that Kanye would look to Trump’s offensive behavior as an example of “male energy” is alarming, and his comments in general are a perfect—and disheartening—demonstration of the way both toxic masculinity and sexism are perpetuated in our culture.

If these comments enraged you, remember you have a voice, and you can use it on November 6th in the upcoming midterm elections.

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