Sign up for our newsletter

Donald Trump Is the Best Thing to Happen to American Women in Decades

The Republican candidate’s misogyny has galvanized the feminist movement with more force and fury than any political issue in generations.

It seems an unlikely paradox that in a country where women outnumber men in all but nine states, the first woman in U.S. history to run for president on a major-party ticket would struggle to win over a strong majority of female voters. But for most of her 2016 presidential run, Hillary Clinton has not managed to secure the women vote. As it turned out — ironically or not — it took a man to do it for her: Donald Trump.

Following the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood recording on Friday, Oct. 7, in which Trump brags about how he likes to grab women “by the pussy,” Clinton’s support among women surged. Within the week, Clinton was leading Trump among female voters by about 20 points, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Among the women for whom the hot-mic tape prompted a turn away from Trump are married white women who typically vote Republican. In fact, according to polls, they are now making up most of the recent increase. And, in an unprecedented move for the conservative base, evangelical Christian women have broken ranks with their male counterparts in the church to disavow Trump.

Of course, it’s still unclear whether the growing numbers of women denouncing Trump are going the extra step to actually unite for Clinton. (Some say they will write in Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, instead.) But perhaps even more important for Americans is whether this is a fleeting moment of unity in modern feminism or if this collective backlash is building into something more, something that will change “business as usual” in U.S. sexual politics.

And if that’s true, it will have been the sheer vileness of Trump’s misogyny that was the proverbial straw to finally break the misogynist’s back. After all, though the pushback against everyday sexism began well before his presidential run, true bipartisan revulsion is now kicking the discussion up to a whole new galvanizing level.

Is it possible that Donald Trump’s run for the presidency is the best thing that’s happened to the U.S. modern feminist movement in decades?

Is it possible that Donald Trump’s run for the presidency is the best thing that’s happened to the U.S. modern feminist movement in decades?


Even before the Trump tape’s release, high-profile, new-century movements such as Hollaback and the Everyday Sexism Project had been fighting back against this constant and daily harassing grind in the lives of American women. Noteworthy is that this groundswell has also been accompanied by a new vocabulary developed by women themselves to name the things they experience: rape culture, mansplaining, manels, manspreading, and gaslighting, among others.

To view full article, visit here

*This article was published in partnership with Across Women’s Lives at Public Radio International’s The World.

[Photo credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.