Four Years After Release of the Access Hollywood Tape, What Have We Learned?


Noreen Farrell, ERA Executive Director

This week in 2016, the public heard for the first time the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape. In it, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump boasted about sexually assaulting unnamed women, with no consequences.

Many thought the horrifying recording would disqualify Donald Trump from the presidency in the court of public opinion. Surely, a person who bragged about sexual assault, who had 26 assault allegations lodged against him, who thought it was all so funny, surely this person would not be elected to office.

Women voters must acknowledge and act on these facts. Now is the time for us to vote our values.

But Trump gained entry to the nation’s highest office because more white women voted for him (47%) than Hillary Clinton (45%), according to validated vote calculations. And his tenure has marked one of the most repressive in history when it comes to women’s rights. He: 

  • Revoked protections against sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination at work and school. 
  • Rescinded  Obama-era campus sexual assault guidelines, endangering millions of students and prompting federal lawsuits. 
  • Blocked women’s access to health care through legislation, legal actions, judicial appointments, and regulations.
  • Slashed funding for family planning programs and health care providers that provide abortion services or referrals. 
  • Rolled back dozens of civil rights, including violence against women.  
  • Failed to lower the cost of childcare, and has made little progress on paid family leave.

Women voters must acknowledge and act on these facts. Now is the time for us to vote our values. If you care about ending violence against women racial injustice, gender equity at work and school, health care access, paid leave and care for essential workers, rally for candidates who will prioritize these issues.

Leave behind those who seek to perpetuate misogyny, sexism, and white supremacy. 

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