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Trump Signs Symbolic Bill to Encourage Women to Enter STEM, Probably Just for Photo-Op

By Kylie Cheung | Politics | March 1, 2017 |

By Kylie Cheung | Politics | March 1, 2017 |

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed into law two bills meant to encourage women to enter STEM, collaborating with NASA “to put young women and girls on a course toward STEM careers that will further help the space program and American businesses.”

It’s worth noting that in his words, Trump is not only a “lover” of women, and has quite literally stated that “no one has more respect for women” than he does. But his actions, which include never passing an opportunity to fat-shame, slut-shame, and age-shame women, all while laughing off myriad of sexual abuse allegations against him and literally confessing to nonconsensually groping women or, you know, committing sexual assault, tell a different story.

And this whole “words vs. real actions” debacle sweepingly underlies the two bills Trump signed on Wednesday.

The first Trump signed was the “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers and Innovators and Explorers” Act (INSPIRE), sponsored by Republican Representative Barbara Comstock, which calls on NASA to “use programs within NASA to put young women and girls on a course toward STEM careers that will further help the space program and American businesses.” Stassa Edwards at Jezebel identified INSPIRE as little more than “feel good legislation” — INSPIRE doesn’t do much except “encourage” young women to study STEM fields, which is great and all, but doesn’t specify any exact, tangible measures that ought to be taken to oversee this.

And, of course, pardon my reaching, but how are young women to accomplish anything let alone wind up at NASA without access to the sexual health education and birth control crucially provided by Planned Parenthood after Trump and his cronies defund the organization? How are little girls to explore their full potential under a president who has literally uttered the words “grab ‘em by the p*ssy” and is obsessed with evaluating the worth of women solely on the basis of their looks, which he repeatedly rates on scales of 1-10 like your neighborhood college frat boy?

At any rate, moving right along, Trump signed off on the “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship” Act, sponsored by Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty. Under the act, the National Science Foundation will be asked to “support entrepreneurial programs for women.” The act doesn’t mandate or introduce anything that isn’t already explicitly included in the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act, and was probably signed off on by Trump just to make him feel good about how spectacularly he’s treating women.

Trump is likely attempting to juice up his “No One Has More Respect For Women Than I Do” portfolio at just over a month into his presidency, and I have to say, these two delightfully hollow acts of pure symbolism will go great next to the whole page that ought to be dedicated to how spectacularly he treats Melania.

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