We were wrong to presume women would vote for Hillary Clinton because of her gender. Heres why Trump supporters still call themselves feminists
A man who uses misogynistic language and has been accused of sexual assault is soon to become the 45th president of the United States of America. For feminists desperate to see the countrys first female president, the result was devastating: how could someone with such disregard for womens rights become leader?
Donald Trump boasted about being able to freely grope women because he is famous, and by the end of the race 12 different women had come forward to accuse him of sexual assault. He also suggested during his campaign that women should face some form of punishment for having abortions, before backtracking and saying states and Congress should take the lead with lawmaking on this matter. After the publication of a video in which he describes grabbing women by the pussy, experts and many non-experts predicted that hed lost the female vote. But this turned out to be incorrect.
According to CNN exit polls, 53% of white women voted for Trump. Those without a college degree supported Trump over Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton by nearly two to one. White women with a college degree only narrowly voted in favour of Clinton by six percentage points. By contrast, 94% of black women and 68% of Latinas voted for Clinton.
Some feminists are finding it difficult to comprehend why women werent so offended by Trumps misogyny that they voted for Clinton en mass. We interviewed women across America to find out why they voted for Trump and why they describe themselves as feminists. Heres what they said.
Laura, 27: A feminist does not blindly do what she is told or expected, she thinks and makes her own choices
Government worker Laura, who lives in the much fought-over state of Florida, voted for Trump. She describes herself as socially moderate, financially independent and educated.
Every female I know, either friends or co-workers except for one voted for Trump. I want to show it was not only men or non-college educated citizens that voted Trump. I am an economic conservative who is registered as a non-party affiliate. I feel that Trump has the best economic polices to create jobs and therefore rebuild the economy.
I truly thought [the video of Trump] was, as its been dubbed, locker-room talk. Having two brothers, boyfriends, and a fiance, I can make an educated guess that all heterosexual men have bragged about their exploits with women to another man at some point.
I believe in equality between the sexes. I have the right and capability to make my own decisions, and live the life I choose for myself. Because I am a feminist I know and exercised my right not to be put in a box or voting group and to freely think and make my own judgment as to who I thought would be the best candidate for president. It is a mistake to believe a feminist must support someone because of their anatomy and not their actions. A feminist does not blindly do what she is told or expected, she thinks and makes her own choices.
I thought the sexual allegations were unsubstantiated and therefore equivalent to rumours and campaign mudslinging. If these women had truly been assaulted why wait until one month before the election to come forward to the press not the authorities.
I thought it incredibly hypocritical to characterise him as a sexual predator when we know for a fact that Bill Clinton is one, and Hillary helped him cover it up through libel and slander of the women who did come forward. This didnt change my opinion about him, except for maybe a more sympathetic attitude and feeling that the media was treating him unfairly.
A persons gender has no bearing whatsoever in their qualifications for a job, including the presidency. Hillary was not clear as to what her policies as president would be, except to maybe continue with the same failed practices. Her policies would not have helped our depressed and stagnant economy. I believe Trumps plans for job creation benefits everyone, including minority groups. I also ascribe, and have for a long time, to a more isolationist foreign policy.
Alyssa: Im not going to vote for somebody because of their gender or race
Trump voter Alyssa, a mother of two boys who is currently not employed, calls herself a feminist on most things, but she is fiercely opposed to voting for someone based on gender alone. Instead she backed Trump, who shares her own beliefs including not raising taxes. Her home state of Ohio a mix of rust-belt, big-city Appalachia, farmland and suburbs; more white and less educated than the national mean voted for Trump.
At some things I would be a feminist. But it doesnt mean I vote for someone because she has a vagina. Ive always voted Republican and always support the party.
At the end of the day [the video of Trump] did not affect my support for him. What he says and what he does dont matter in those senses because Im looking for somebody that has the same beliefs as I do in running a country. At the end of the day were all sinners and we all say things like this. It isnt uncommon. We act like the president of United States should be some holy person.
We can go through all the US presidents and you will see sexual dysfunctions in all of their personal lives, even Hillarys husband had an affair. At the end of the day, my husbands sex life does not involve his work life and my sex life does not involve my day-to-day life. These women that came out about Trump could have been hoping for media attention, or maybe just simply paid by Hillary to make her criminal issues look smaller.
Im not going to vote for somebody because of their gender or race. There is nothing other than whether they can run the country or not.
Heather: Im a throwback, which naturally lends itself to traditional femininity
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