This summer, when the Black Lives Matter movement got its deserved attention on social media, a particular statement went viral. It read: “Not every Trump supporter is racist, but all of them decided that racism isn’t a deal breaker.” This made me wonder what other things Trump supporters completely overlook. And by just looking in the mirror and being cognisant of my gender, I thought of all the sexism that his voter base often just blindly accepts, especially women themselves.
Thirty-nine percent of Donald Trump’s votes came from women in 2016, even after he was exposed for yelling “grab her by the Pussy,” but why? How exactly are women benefiting in regards to his policies and the levels of respect that they receive for being fans of Trump?
For a little bit of background and since I have just quoted a statement by Trump from before he was elected, I would like to share some of the words President Trump has uttered about women since he was named Commander-in-Chief. In 2018 in regards to the #MeToo Movement that brought to light the disgusting normality of sexual assault of women in the workforce, he said, “It is a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of … Women are doing great.” He constantly refers to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” to degrade her in replacement of negotiation skills. In August alone he attacked Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, sarcastically calling her a “real beauty” (why is her appearance mentioned at all?) and claiming she knows nothing about the economy, despite her graduating cum laude from Boston University. Finally, Trump tweeted this August that “Suburban Housewives” will be in support of his plan to roll back vast lower-income housing plans. That label of women alone screams that his brain has not left the 1950s.
Some women are in such fear of appearing as an ‘angry man hater’ that they do not vote or take action in their own best interest …”
The above quotes and scenarios do not even begin to reveal Trump’s feelings towards women and the place he believes they hold in American society. Every public statement and action he makes sets an example for the people of the United States on how to behave and treat others. His blatant sexism and anger towards women show many that it is alright to go back in time in the progress of equality. For example, his attacks on 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg show that it is alright to denounce young women with a political passion and drive to make their own futures better. How do mothers and young female adults see that and feel okay with the suppression of progress? Would they denounce their own daughters and not pursue what they think is right themselves because they see the President doing the same?
I am a firm believer that feminism is not a bad word, but I am still not in the majority of society with that mindset. The term often still has connotations of hatred towards men and the ideology that females should be superior to males and do not take the true definition of feminism, equality between the sexes, into account when voting. Some women are in such fear of appearing as an “angry man hater” that they do not vote or take action in their own best interest in order to seem attractive and likable towards men and stay within society’s norm (now lessening) of compliance with males. For centuries, men have voted on their own accounts with mostly little to no thought for the rights and progression of their female counterparts, so why don’t all women do the same now and vote for what is going to supply them the most benefits? It is perplexing that women would not want to support candidates that fight for equal pay (between everyone, not just white men and women), access to affordable reproductive healthcare (not all that Planned Parenthood does are abortions) and decency and respect towards women in not only political positions, but all occupations and lifestyles.
According to polls, more women are leaning away from Trump’s vote towards Biden’s, but polls are not a guaranteed indicator of election results, as we all saw in 2016. Women need to use the power of their ballots, whether mail-in or in person, to show Trump and his followers that his behavior is less than intolerable, but a political and progressive obstacle. Blindly voting for a sexist president due to one’s own internalized misogyny isn’t excusable anymore given the unlimited ability to stay educated and informed of the regressive policies and behavior our leader promotes.