Of all the ways in which Donald Trump is unsuited to be President of the United States, his treatment of women is the one that puts him completely out of tune with his times.

Three more women went public this week with accusations of his attempts to force himself on them.

The incidents might have occurred some time ago, when this sort of behaviour was all too common, but it should never be supposed that all men, or probably most, acted this way towards women.

It was perhaps tolerated too much but it was never admired. Gentlemen regarded such men as social clods and women saw them as sexual creeps.

Advertisement

That fact that women are now coming forward to expose such men, in the movie industry, television and politics, is to be thoroughly welcomed. No sympathy should be spared for these specimens of the recent past.

They always deserved the opprobrium they are receiving now. The fact that the White House is occupied by a creep who has been recorded boasting of the sort of behaviour he now denies is an affront to the dignity of women but not a setback for social progress.

The shock that Trump was elected despite the recorded boast has made American women more determined to expose men like him. A remarkable number of women have had the courage to come forward this year against various celebrities and the more who do so, the more others will find the courage.

It takes real courage, not just because women will be challenged as to why they did not speak out when it happened, but also because sexual abuse has a terrible way of making its victims feel somehow complicit.

Those making allegations against Trump know they are inviting ridicule not just from him but from the sizable slice of American voters who looked past his treatment of women when they put him in power and continue to support him.

Strangely they include a peculiarly American breed of Christians called evangelicals. Trump has turned United States politics into a cultural war of primitive attitudes against today's civilised values.

The latest battleground in the war has been Alabama, which held an election yesterday for the Senate seat vacated by Trump's Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

The election should have been no contest as soon as the Republican nomination went to a former state Supreme Court judge, Roy Moore, who has denied allegations of sexual assault from a number of women, some of them teenagers at the time.

Advertisement

Leading Republicans distanced themselves from Moore but Trump did not. He endorsed Moore and urged Alabamans to vote for him to maintain a reliable Republican majority in the Senate.

The victory of Democrat Doug Jones yesterday was a triumph in a state that is solidly Republican and had not sent a Democrat to the Senate in 20 years.

Moore and Trump can blame his loss on the allegations he has denied, and they are right. When a deeply conservative state votes this way it suggests the great majority of Americans are moved by the women making these charges, as they should be.

Trump is out of step but he will be the last to realise it. Women are demanding more respect and they are winning.