Jeb Bush Slams the Toxic Masculinity in the Presidential Election

September 30th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is no stranger to personal jabs from current Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has consistently bullied opponents — including Bush during his failed bid to be the GOP nominee — during this election cycle.

While Bush was still in the presidential race, Trump repeatedly called him "boring," insulted his "lack of energy," and used his relationship with his mother to call him weak.


Wake up Jeb supporters!

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

However, during a speech at Harvard University on Friday, Bush revealed the main problem with the political rhetoric in this election cycle: it's full of toxic masculinity.

The term toxic masculinity refers to the harmful antiquated and gendered ideas of how men are supposed to behave. While Bush did not use the precise term, he described it perfectly.

“I just went through what was a really tough political fight, and I lost and it was disappointing, but I’m not going to change who I am,” Bush said, according to Politico. “The idea [that] you are weak if you are warm-hearted, man, we have to stop that. That is just dangerous for our democracy.”

Some of Trump's attacks on Bush focused on the fact that his mother campaigned for him and included critiques of Bush's interest in his appearance. These attacks are seemingly to make Bush appear weak because those characteristics are associated with women.

Trump isn't the only male candidate to use outdated stereotypes about masculinity for political attacks. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson called Trump a "pussy" and then used his physical fitness as an explanation for the sexist slur.

'It was kind of a misfire on my part when I called him a pussy." said Johnson. "But the point was that you know what? I've climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. I'm gong to do a 3,000 mile mountain bike ride here, upcoming. Trump's a pussy."

Among many remarks that have been criticized as sexist, Trump has also used physical fitness against Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said that the first female Democratic nominee lacked the "look" and the "tremendous stamina" to be president during Monday's first presidential debate.

Clinton had a direct response: “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, and a cease fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina,” she said.

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