So, most white women voted for Trump.
Now, if this were a normal every-four-years election that wouldn’t be that strange. Not all women are Republican and expecting all women to vote in solidarity toward the goal of more women in power is unreasonable. I would not, for example, ever, in a million years, vote for Michele Bachmann. Her politics are awful and she’s incompetent.
However, this year it wasn’t a woman running against “Republican X” and “Democrat Y”. It was a competent extremely-centrist woman running against an incompetent misogynist.
This situation is any professional women’s nightmare. This is the world where the bloviating blow-hard wins admiration and respect while the hard-working competent woman is deemed simply not hot or entertaining enough to be noticed at all, much less admired for her real contributions.
Race “trumps” gender.
While every other demographic of women voted for Clinton in the mid 90%’s – a slim majority of white women voted for Trump. Clinton may have symbolized progress for women’s equality. However, Trump was the candidate of white reactionaries. For many white women, maintaining their privilege as whites was much more important to them than breaking down gender barriers.
That’s plain to see in the rhetoric of female Trump supporters.
They do not “feel safe” as a woman because of non-white immigrants and refugees but they were willing to vote for a white rapist.
But what about the men?
White men voted for Trump – a lot.
This election also told us something we already knew. The expectation that a man should threaten violence against someone who touches his daughter-wife-mother isn’t because our society believes that sexual assault is inherently wrong.
It’s about ownership.
The safety of women & children is still a property-rights concern – as it has been for centuries. To pretend to care is to use white women as a weapon to justify xenophobia and racist hatred. Trust me, the 14 words is about people that look like me. It’s not even subtle.
Misogyny is no big deal.
It’s just locker room talk. She is lying to get attention. Look at her sex tape, she is not a good person. Nasty woman.
I admit I have been there. When Bill Clinton’s infidelity became front-page news, I dismissed it for good reasons and for bad ones. At the time, there was no accusation that he committed sexual violence. I filed it under “none of my business”. I assumed that perhaps the Clinton’s had an open arrangement that was also nobody’s business. What I was angry about, but so desperately wanted to ignore, was that his actions were grossly inappropriate and should have been filed under “treating women like shit” two times over. The bad reason to defend Bill Clinton was that caring was politically inexpedient.
It was very clear that his political opponents were capitalizing on the scandal as much as they possibly could while his political allies were placing their politics above calling out the ill treatment of women. During this election, the “Clinton Sex Scandal” was used to Trump’s advantage. Pointing to Trump’s unacceptable behavior could be seen as hypocrisy to those who would blame a wife for being unable to curb her husband’s manly irresponsible behavior.
At some point, we decided that women didn’t matter. Our petty concerns took a back-seat to the mythical carnal needs of the alpha-male. The women involved in the debacle were vilified as fat, ugly and stupid. The right was simply using them and the left just wanted them to shut up.
Now we have Bill Clinton’s golfing buddy as President. With Bill Clinton, the fact that he couldn’t keep it in his pants was revealed well after the election. With Trump – we know. We knew a LONG LONG time ago about what kind of man Trump is. We knew that he raped his former wife. We knew that he treated women like trophies and objects. We know all this.
But it didn’t matter.
All Trump needed to do was smile and wave and point his finger in the other direction. It just wasn’t a big deal. It was treated as a distraction away from the *real* issues. It’s just the “way things are”. This is just how “men behave”.
Boys will be boys.
And it is WOMEN saying that. Fighting gender oppression is not about boys against girls. This isn’t a “war of the sexes”. Our sexist societal norms are upheld by folks of all genders. We are inculcated into it from birth – all of us.
White feminism needs to take a hard cold look at what this election meant. It meant embracing white supremacy and it also meant, yet again, allowing respect-for-women to be treated as a non-issue.
It may be high time that we start worrying our pretty little heads about it.