“Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony? I’m shocked that you’ve heard of her —”
President Donald Trump spoke at a women’s empowerment event on Wednesday marking the end of Women’s History Month. He talked about Melania Trump’s approval numbers, his cabinet “full” of women (of the 24 members there are 4 women), and then gave a shout out to a few famous women in American history.
As if it’s not ironic enough that Trump is at a women’s empowerment anything in the first place, it gets weirder.
His speech started off semi normal as he heralded Abigail Adams as an advocate for women’s rights.
“Since the very beginning, women have driven, and I mean, each generation of Americans, towards a more free and more prosperous future,” Trump said. “These patriots are women like the legendary Abigail Adams, right? Who, during the founding, urged her husband to remember the rights of women. She was very much a pioneer in that way.”
He then recognized Harriet Tubman for her bravery in helping to free slaves.
“We’ve been blessed with courageous heroes like Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery. And went on to deliver hundreds of others to freedom, first in the underground railroad and then as a spy for the union army. She was very, very courageous, believe me.”
But then he got to Susan B. Anthony.
“Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony? I’m shocked that you’ve heard of her —” the president said jokingly to a room full of women. There was a pause for reaction and laughter ensued from a few in the room. Whether they were chuckling at his ignorance, or simply being polite to the POTUS, one will never know.
The clip was posted YouTube, by Raw Story reporter, Sarah Burris.
No, Mister President, we’ve never heard of Susan B. Anthony.
After he got his laughs, he went on to say, “[Susan B. Anthony] – who dreamed of a much more equal and fair future, an America where women themselves, as she said, ‘helped to make laws and elect the lawmakers.’ And that’s what’s happening more and more. Tough competition out there, I want to tell you.”
Joke or not, Twitter was NOT having it. Posters had a field day making actual jokes, that were actually funny.
Today Trump asked a group of women "Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?" This is her grave after the 2016 election. Yeah, we've heard of her pic.twitter.com/U2RWnZLpAX
— O General My General (@rideatdawn) March 29, 2017
I almost fell off the chair hearing @realDonaldTrump all but admit he just learned who Susan B. Anthony was. How embarrassing. Under a rock
— Indivisible NJD2 (@MaysLandingMel) March 29, 2017
Clearly, Trump learned about Susan B. Anthony this morning. No word yet on whether he thinks she's alive or dead.
— Taylor Wright (@tw429) March 29, 2017
— New Republic (@NewRepublic) March 30, 2017
The similarities between Trump’s remarks on Susan B. Anthony and his remarks about Frederick Douglass were not lost on the twitter-verse either. Social media posters had a field day with both and ridiculed the president’s obvious struggle with American history in 140 characters or less.
I hear that both Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass are survivors of the Bowling Green Massacre…
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 30, 2017
In these troubling times, thing that keeps me going is hearing about amazing work Susan B. Anthony & Frederick Douglass are doing.
— Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) March 29, 2017
@realDonaldTrump – Susan B. Anthony is married to Frederick Douglass, right? I am not as sure though, where they live now. Hint, please?
— Michael Smith (@MichaelSmithSG) March 30, 2017
Here’s the thing, Trump was being sarcastic. We know that. But his joke reminds women everywhere of the countless other corny, tone deaf, and inappropriate jokes men have made before in our presence that we’ve politely laughed at countless times before. We’ve laughed to keep our jobs, to not create “waves” and to not appear difficult or the dreaded “angry woman.” Mansplaining doesn’t always look like a lecture or a dig.
So yes, Donnie, we know who Susan B. Anthony is. The question is, do you?