The Atlantic’s article addresses an emerging line of reasoning in the aftermath of the election that puts (mainly white) women at the crux of the issue. Why did so many women vote for Donald Trump? It feels like the ultimate betrayal, the internalized self-hatred of years of oppression; Samantha Bee’s segment was cited in the article, in which she eviscerates white women:
Bee’s message is harsh and unforgiving, but she fails to consider the entanglements of female identity that exist to complicate the issue (as The Atlantic argues). Consider Hillary Clinton’s prime audience during her historic run:
The fact that she won college-educated white women while losing white women without a college degree suggests that her campaign had more success winning over Republican-leaning women who fit a similar demographic profile to the candidate herself: white, highly-educated, and affluent.
But what about these women does not fit this profile? Or what about those who identify proudly with a more traditional gender dynamics? Personally, I know I underestimate the section of the female populace who are not actively engaged in the same conversations about women’s rights. I take for granted my place in this country, my location and my privilege. But I live in a liberal society. I was raised by feminist parents with graduate degrees (and I’m getting one myself now). My intersectionality mixes well with a Clinton administration. That I assumed the same was true for all American women was, in retrospect, naive.
This is not to say that I or The Atlantic believe that it is only uneducated white women who voted for Trump; to say that would be as reductive as saying only educated white men voted for Clinton. Rather, it’s a sad but important reminder that voters across this nation are not nearly as progressive about basic human dynamics, roles, and rights as the rest of the country:
Yet what women should strive for, how they should be treated, and even what they should have the right to do, are far from uncontested ideas in American society.
This breaks my heart all over again, but it doesn’t mean that the people, particularly the women, who voted for Trump are bad people. It means that we have to begin to reconcile the reality that our urban centers do not represent the basic foundational beliefs of this country as a whole.
The Atlantic article argues that the majority of women did, in fact, vote for Hillary Clinton. If I’m being honest (and maybe a little unfair), I think it is still hard to believe that any woman felt comfortable in her choice to vote for Donal Trump. And more than that, completely shattered from the election results, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking for people to blame. But can we really blame any one group of people or section of the country? Does this feel like the fault of a section of the nation or of the nation itself? I ask because I truly do not know.
What do you all think? Is it fair to blame anyone at all? Or is it time to come together to find what unifies us? What will make us finally stronger together?