What emerges from the interviews is a complex, at times contradictory portrait of a wealthy, well-known and provocative man and the women around him, one that defies simple categorization. Some women found him gracious and encouraging. He promoted several to the loftiest heights of his company, a daring move for a major real estate developer at the time.
He simultaneously nurtured women’s careers and mocked their physical appearance. “You like your candy,” he told an overweight female executive who oversaw the construction of his headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. He could be lewd one moment and gentlemanly the next."You like your candy" is the best quote they have for the proposition that Trump "mocked" women's personal appearance. Is that even mocking (as opposed to a gentle, indirect observation of weight gain)?
I read the whole article and think that, for all the slanting, what it shows is a dearth of bad material. The article begins with the story of him offering a bathing suit to a woman — a model — who arrived at a pool party without a bathing suit. When she put the bathing suit on, he said "wow." Would he have been mocking her if he'd failed to say "wow"?
There's a fair amount of material about how involved he got in the pageants. One participant wrote: "Donald Trump walked out with his entourage and inspected us closer than any general ever inspected a platoon." That doesn't sound leering and sexist, but like the business that it is. That pageant participant is Carrie Prejean, and the Times says nothing to prompt us to remember how the liberal press excoriated this young woman back in 2009 for her answer to a pageant question about same-sex marriage. (Using the awkward term "opposite marriage," she said she was raised to think that marriage was between a man and a woman.) Here's a contemporaneous report at ABC News:
On television, there could be heard the sound of boos, drowned out somewhat by applause. [Perez] Hilton has been blogging about what he called the "worst answer in pageant history" since the show ended.But she's useful to the other side now, so I guess we're supposed to have forgotten that. Anyway, pageants are not interesting to everyone, but much of America likes them, and if we're going to have them, we've got to admit that they involve inspecting young women's bodies and getting very judgmental and comparative about it. If that's beyond the pale of social acceptability, why is it still on television?
In a video blog posted Sunday night, he called Prejean "a dumb b----." He later apologized in the blog, offering to take Prejean out for coffee and a "talk."... He also believes her answer cost her the contest because, to his knowledge, no Miss USA contestant has ever been booed during the question-and-answer portion of the show.
And quite aside from pageants, is the love for the beauty of the human body something serious people are expected to rise above? Obviously not. Seeing and enjoying seeing other human beings is central to our lives. The force of beauty can lead a man to do wrong, but we should identify exactly what is wrong — rudeness, selfishness, job discrimination — and we should take care not to yield to the force of the ugliness that is envy and contempt.