From US president to NFT salesman – has Trump finally hit rock bottom? | Arwa Mahdawi

Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

Trump cashes in on trading cards

Oh how the mighty have fallen! Just a few years ago Donald Trump was the most powerful man in the world. He had an army of “yes men”, acolytes who hung on his every word. He was close to his family: his eldest daughter and his son-in-law were his special advisers. He had a Twitter account with millions of followers. He made policy and moved markets. He may have been something of a laughing stock, but he had power and influence.

Now, however, Trump is just a laughing stock with a lot of legal problems. His former cheerleaders, including the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, have turned their backs on him. Even his family is keeping their distance: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have cut all public ties with the former president. A normal person might keep a low profile in this situation. They might regroup, do some damage control, and calmly figure out how to rebuild their reputation. Not Trump. Instead he decided to wrap up 2022 in the most unhinged way possible: releasing a superhero digital trading card collection. For just $99 each you can buy non-fungible tokens (NFT) of Trump dressed in various guises including an astronaut, a fighter pilot, and a superhero with lasers coming out of his eyes.

Is anyone really stupid enough to waste their hard-earned money on a digitally-generated image of Trump dressed like Superman? Apparently so. According to the site selling the NFTs, the trading cards sold out less than 24 hours after Trump announced they were available. Which isn’t too shabby considering it has been reported that there were 45,000 of the cards available for sale. Still, I’d take those numbers with a pinch of salt. Remember when Melania launched an NFT around this time last year? It sold for $180,000 but a blockchain expert discovered that the winning bid was either from Melania herself or whoever set up the NFT’s sale. And remember when Donald Trump Jr wrote a book in 2019 imaginatively titled Triggered, which topped the New York Times bestseller list? Turns out he had a little help from his friends: the Republican National Commission spent nearly $100,000 on a bulk order of the book which helped get it to the top of the bestseller charts.

It’s not clear whether Trump scooped up all his own trading cards but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. If all the sales were truly organic, however, then Trump managed to earn $4,455,000 overnight: under a licensing deal proceeds reportedly all go to Trump rather than the campaign for his 2024 presidential run. You’ve got to hand it to the man, he does come up with some creative ways to make money. Not everyone is impressed by his ingenuity, however. A far-right troll best known by his online persona Baked Alaska, who is facing prison time over his role in the January 6 riots, was aghast by his former hero’s new venture. “I can’t believe I’m going to jail for an NFT salesman,” he tweeted. When a guy called Baked Alaska thinks you’re embarrassing, you’ve officially hit rock bottom.

Scientists have finally located the snake clitoris

(Male snakes, on the other hand, are still trying to figure it out.) If you had no idea that snakes had clitorises until now, you’re not the only one. Previous research mistook the organs – snakes have two individual clitorises – for scent glands. The lead author of the study unveiling these finding notes that “a massive taboo around female genitalia” likely played into why snake clitorises had gone undiscovered for so long. “I think it’s a combination of not knowing what to look for and not wanting to,” she said.

Iran expelled from UN body tasked with empowering women

Turns out that violently cracking down on protests calling for gender equality is somewhat at odds with ‘empowering women.’

Bad grandmas are the new pop culture icons

“A growing resistance to the tired grandma trope in popular culture as frail, lonely and hobbling is popping up in surprising places,” writes Sally Feldman in the Guardian.

Has prestige television finally conquered the penis?

Yes, according to Slate. If you watched White Lotus you may have noticed some full-frontal male nudity – it was sort of hard to ignore. (Theo James described the prosthetic penis he sported as something that looked like it had been stolen “off a donkey”.) While this sort of thing used to be quite rare on TV, there has been a recent proliferation of penises on primetime. Whether this is a positive development or not is up for debate.

Did the US women’s soccer team win their ‘equal pay’ case? It’s complicated

Like a lot of legal battles, the only people who really came out ahead were the lawyers.

Shocking testimonies of abuse from IDF veterans

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) often uses its female soldiers to sanitize its image. But feminism and militarism rarely mix. Just take a look at this shocking new video project in which IDF veterans recount the grim reality of occupation and a culture of dehumanisation and violence against Palestinians.

Norway proposes 40% gender quota for large unlisted firms

In 2005 Norway became the first country in the world to introduce a 40% gender quota on the boards of listed companies, forcing other countries to take note. Last month the European parliament passed a law requiring large listed companies in the EU to have a minimum 40% of non-executive board members as women from mid-2026. Now Norway is recommending that large private companies should also have a 40% gender quota.

Tunisia election set to deliver male-dominated parliament and erosion of women’s rights

In 2014 nearly a third of MPs in Tunisia were women. However after President Kais Saied removed a requirement for candidate lists to alternate between the sexes only 122 female candidates, compared with 936 men, were approved to run in the current election. Tunisians will vote on Saturday and activists expect the new parliament to be male-dominated. “The Tunisian parliament was once the exemplar of gender equity in the region. With these new changes to the law, that could soon be history,” wrote Salsabil Chellali, Tunisia director of Human Rights Watch, on a blog.

The week in plot-riarchy

The New York Post may be a right-wing rag but I must concede that the greatest headline-writing minds of our generation work there. The Post dedicated its front page last Wednesday to the news of Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest and captioned a picture of the hirstute former billionaire with the headline “HAIRY PLOTTER.” Magic.