BANSAL: America must start conversation about Stephen Miller
Opinions Column: Call for Change
Stephen Miller, President Donald J. Trump’s senior advisor, plays a much larger role than many perceive. Miller, the same man who was one of the leading constructors of the Muslim "travel ban" that Trump had implemented, was appointed to work with Ivanka Trump on women’s issues in April — a problem that no one is talking about enough.
Miller infamously publicized his views on feminism while he was a student columnist at Duke University. A firm believer in the perpetuation of gender roles, Miller stated, “I simply wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring a full-time male babysitter or driving down the street and seeing a group of women carrying heavy steel pillars to a construction site.” Miller strongly opposes the gender pay gap. He believes that the pay gap is a natural outcome of the societal structures that allow men to work longer hours, work harder and choose more challenging jobs, none of which he believes stem from gender discrimination. He states, 'It's vital to keep in mind what it would actually mean for women if we were to close the pay gap. For many, it would mean giving up a noble career in social working or putting in 50- and 60-hour work weeks and not being able to spend time with the family. It would mean trading in jobs like housekeeping for night shifts doing road repairs, it would mean giving up the joy of being home during your child's first years of life.” With a senior advisor who believes that women belong in their gender specific roles, women choose less challenging jobs and blame none of these correlations on gender discrimination. It’s easy to see the direction Trump is taking with his presidency.
While Miller points out that women choose different jobs than men, he conveniently forgets to mention the fact that our culture has encouraged women to pursue stereotypically feminine jobs for ages. He then encourages this misogynistic culture, making known that he’d be uncomfortable if a woman chose to be anything other than a housekeeper or a stereotypically feminine job.
Miller’s cycle of misogyny pales in comparison to the countless number of other hatred acts he has shown. He has proven to be anti-immigration, condescending the idea of “illegal aliens” being given certain rights and co-creating the travel ban for numerous Muslim dominated countries. He has also voiced concerns toward shows starring LGBT characters, with the motivation that they "erode traditional values.” Miller’s stance on racism was clearly communicated in an article he wrote, referring to the leftist racism as an “illusion.” According to his high school counselor, Miller declared racism a thing of the past, denying the massive issue during a summit for Latino and African American issues. Furthermore, Jason Islas, a former friend of his, recounts Miller stating over the phone: “I can't be your friend anymore because you are Latino.”
Showing a blatant lack of respect for Native Americans, Muslims and a multitude of other minorities, Miller is not the greatest option for senior advisor, much less one of the leading advisors on women’s issues. The appointment of Miller to reform women’s issues in America is extremely dangerous and needs to be talked about more. Not enough people understand the severity of trusting a man like Miller with issues such as the pay gap and paid parental leave.
Moreover, Miller’s appointment as Trump’s senior advisor is representative of all the beliefs that Trump concedes. Miller portrays the disturbingly racist, misogynistic and homophobic America that Trump is slowly creating. Having Miller at Trump’s side not only makes it easier for certain ideas (such as the travel ban) to be formed, but also makes way for more negative political discourse that reflects on the youth of the nation.
Priyanka Bansal is a Rutgers Business School sophomore double majoring in business and journalism and media studies. Her column, “Call for Change,” runs on alternate Tuesdays.
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