When I saw the security video released Tuesday of Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbing female reporter Michelle Fields, my first thought wasn’t about who lied, the political fallout or even the outrageous spectacle than continues to be this election.
I thought about my Dad.
Call me anti-feminist, sexist or retrograde in whatever fashion (politically incorrect perhaps?), but if my father saw me manhandle a woman in the way Lewandowski did Fields—however aggressive or innocent some argue it looks—he would be disappointed in the son he raised.
Unless you’re facing Ronda Rousey in the Octagon or taking down a female suicide bomber, men aren’t supposed to muscle women around that way (even allegedly leaving a bruise).
This can’t just be a southern thing.
I got physical with my sister once in a similar fashion as a kid. Basic child’s play.
But Dad saw it. He made sure I learned, right there and then, that boys aren’t supposed to treat girls that way.
Suffice to say, it was a lesson I never forgot.
The Trump camp says it was a hectic scene, physicality is just the nature of political beat journalism and that campaign workers and observers—especially reporters—get “smacked around” all the time.
But I don’t care if Fields was the president or a janitor, or maybe something in between in professional stature—a journalist?—that the first inclination of Lewandowski was to do what he did tells me something about that man.
In all fairness to Lewandowski, who I don’t know, it might not tell me everything about him.
In full disclosure, I know Michelle Fields. But I probably wouldn’t have a different first reaction to this controversy if I didn’t.
He’s a man. She’s a woman.
Call that (or me) what you will.
It might be true that this incident is being blown out of proportion by both sides. But we do know now that Lewandowski appears to have lied about never grabbing, or even meeting, Fields. Perhaps Fields’ pressing charges is going too far as well.
But Corey Lewandoski went too far. Basic manners say so.
Dad would say so too.