Feminism Faces an Uphill Battle

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), November 12, 2016 | Go to article overview

Feminism Faces an Uphill Battle


Byline: Jacqui True and Aida Arfan Hozic

DONALD Trump's victory is more than just an election of another American president -- it is a regime change.

This momentous event will affect the functioning of both American and global institutions.

It will also affect the politics of everyday life, especially those domains often associated with women and minorities, household economies, health and education, welfare and social care, migration and reproduction.

This is a victory for a particular kind of masculinity -- paternalistic and violent, punishing to those who do not fit its standards.

Yet Trump (pictured) is not a unique political phenomenon, but a symptom of disenchantment with globalisation.

His victory is a product of homegrown economic problems gone viral, pandering to white fears, botched military interventions and millions of wounded bodies.

It is also a reflection of the worldwide shift toward populism in reaction to the increases in economic inequality, the perceived elitism of politicians and parties, uncertainty about the future and threats to economic and physical security from within and without.

Whether it's in Brazil, Russia, Poland, Turkey, the Philippines or the UK -- and soon, possibly, France and even Australia -- liberal elites have been sent packing because of their apparent failure to sustain the entitlements of blue collar, white men.

They were unable to deliver on the expectations of key constituencies with the unleashing of competitive globalisation.

Thus, it should not surprise us that Trump's win was not pulled off by poor working class whites alone.

Women simultaneously rushed to vote and were sharply divided by it.

The 2016 election represents the biggest gender gap in voting since 1973, but Hillary Clinton has not benefitted much -- if at all -- from group solidarity among women.

Trump beat Clinton 53% to 41% among men and Clinton won among women by 54% to 42%.

More women voted Democrat than ever before, and more men voted Republican.

Shockingly, 53% of white women voted for Trump, even though early polling showed them more likely to support Clinton. Even 45% of women with a college degree voted for Trump.

Whatever gains Clinton made among women, it was thanks to women of colour.

White women have clearly made patriarchal bargains: they may benefit economically as part of male breadwinner, heterosexual family households from a Trump presidency tax cut dividend. On the downside, they now also will be represented by a president who advocates "grabbing pussy". …

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