A few months before the election, when eleven six-foot-five effigies of a naked Donald Trump, then the 2016 Republican presidential nominee—bulging paunch, saggy ass, mottled limbs, constipated visage, and puny dick—popped up around the country, I briefly liked being an American. We were tragic absurdists, a nation of disgusted pranksters. The statue had no balls. Like most women, I’ve never been entirely clear on what balls are for, or why they’re meant to symbolize traits like courage and daring. Aren’t they actually the most vulnerable spot on a man—is that how men conquered the world, by costuming their vulnerabilities as mettle? (Something I wish I were better capable of, for the record.)
The country’s disgusted fascination with Trump’s body united us, or so I briefly thought. We were riveted: by the shameless comb-over, the Orangina skin, the stubby fingers, the clown-car neckties. It was a sick pleasure—you couldn’t take your eyes off him, no matter how much you despised him. Trump made it seem right-minded to despise him for his aged, saggy ass, and by extension all male bodies, aged and saggy or not, because that’s where their privilege resides—in their anus mouths and the gross stuff that came out of them, and where their sweaty hands traveled, and making every last thing about their all-important dicks. At some level, you sort of knew that bodily aesthetics shouldn’t bear the burden of moral judgments or political animus, but as far as Trump, we were going to hand him his saggy ass and send him on his way.